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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Nurophen plus tablets

07/17/2006

Question:

I am wondering if headache tablets are addictive?

Answer:

You are wondering if headache tablets are addictive - in particular nurophen plus.

Nurophen plus tablets is a combination of ibuprofen and pseudoephedrine. In general this drug does not have addiction potential. It can become a habit as it may be self-reinforcing because it provides relieve for your pain, and you continue to use it beyond the point of needing the medication or take more then is prescribed in terms amount or length of time. 

There are other considerations. If your headaches are due to stress or other situations that are temporary in nature and you use the headache tablets for a short period of time, addiction should not be a problem.

If, however, your headaches continue for a longer period of time (say more than 2 weeks), then you should consult your physician or health care provider to determine the source of the problem, as there are many reasons for headaches.

If the medication is prescribed by a physician and you are not getting the relief anticipated, then it is best to consult the physician or healthcare provider again to see if there are further reasons for the continued headaches.

Second, any of these medications, if taken for a long period of time or used in higher doses than recommended, can have other side effects, stomach problems, liver problems, and other individual responses that should be monitored. So addiction is not the only issue that should be of concern.

So it is best to seek the advice of your healthcare provider or physician when taking medication for more than 2 weeks.

For more information:

Go to the Addiction and Substance Abuse health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Janice Dyehouse, PhD, RN
Adjunct Professor
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati