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Medical News and Perspectives
July 28, 2004

When Teens Self-treat Headaches, OTC Drug Misuse Is Frequent Result

JAMA. 2004;292(4):424-425. doi:10.1001/jama.292.4.424

According to researchers in a study presented in June, children and adolescents with headaches may misuse over-the-counter pain relievers—a practice that might exacerbate their conditions and create other problems.

The investigators also noted that parents often do not suspect the quantities of medications their children—usually adolescents—are taking for headaches. This misuse and lack of awareness highlight the need for parents to set positive examples about how to properly use nonprescription analgesics, said John Ring, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Medicine, in Memphis.

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