Caffeine and Headaches



National Headache Foundation, Published October 25, 2007

Caffeine is one of several compounds that are naturally occurring stimulants in certain foods and beverages. It is found naturally and as an additive in coffee, tea, cola, certain soft drinks, and some pain relieving and migraine abortive medications.

Caffeine is a mild vasoconstrictor and stimulant and has been shown to be useful in pain and anti-migraine medications. Because of a paradoxical phenomenon known as caffeine rebound, headache patients should refrain from excessive daily use. Most headache sufferers can consume up to 200 mg. per day. However, some patients with frequent headaches should avoid its daily use completely.

A brewed cup of coffee (6oz.) contains about 60-100 mg. of caffeine. Soft drink beverages contain about 30-60 mg. per 8 oz. servings. Some medications used to treat headache contain caffeine which has to be considered in determining one’s daily use of caffeine.

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