Pocket effective headache medications

Headache is a very common condition, causing discomfort and affecting the life of patients. Headache medications can help control this condition. However, when taking these medications, you should avoid products that contain caffeine.

When you have a headache or migraine, your doctor usually prescribes pain relievers to treat the condition. Many of these headache medications are over-the-counter, while others require a prescription. When taking headache medications, you should avoid products that contain caffeine. Any medication containing sedatives or narcotics should be used with caution.

Note: If pain relievers are used more than twice a week, you should see your doctor for a prescription for headache prevention. Overuse of symptomatic medications can make headache symptoms more frequent or worse.

Common headache medications

Drug name Brand name Uses Careful Side effects
Acetaminophen"}”>Acetaminophen Tylenol Pain relief  

Side effects that are less likely to occur if the medication is taken as directed include: changes in blood counts and liver damage

Aspirin"}”>Aspirin Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin Pain relief Do not use in children under 14 years of age due to the potential for Reve's syndrome (a life-threatening neurological condition). anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction), ulcers"}”>

Heartburn, stomach bleeding, bronchospasm or spasms that narrow the airways, anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergies), ulcers

Fenoprofen Nalfon

Prevention of tension headaches; migraine headache; Hormonal headaches

  Nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, dizziness, drowsiness
Flurbiprofen Ansaid

Prevention of tension headaches; migraine headache. Treatment of tension headaches; migraine

  Digestive upset, drowsiness, dizziness, vision problems, ulcers
Ibuprofen"}”>Ibuprofen Advil, Motrin IB, Nuprin

Treatment of tension headaches; migraine headache

 

Gastrointestinal discomfort, gastrointestinal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, rash, liver damage

Ketoprofen ACTRON

Prevention of tension headaches; migraine headache. Treating Migraines

 

Gastrointestinal discomfort, gastrointestinal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, rash, liver damage

Nabumeton RELAFEN

Prevention of tension headaches; migraine headache

  Constipation, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
Naproxen Aleve

Prevention of tension headaches; Hormonal headaches. Treatment of migraine headaches

 

Gastrointestinal discomfort, gastrointestinal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, rash, liver damage

Diclofenac Cataflam Treatment of tension headaches; migraine headache   Abdominal pain, flatulence, dizziness, drowsiness, loss of appetite
Ketorolac TORADOL Treatment of tension headaches   Digestive upset, drowsiness, dizziness, vision problems, ulcers
Meclofenate Meclomen Treatment of tension headaches   Nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, dizziness, drowsiness
Carisoprodol Soma Treatment of tension headaches  

Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, headache, nervousness, skin rash, bleeding

Orphenadrinecitrate Norflex Treatment of tension headaches   Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nervousness, blurred vision
Methocarbamol Robaxin Treatment of tension headaches   Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, dark urine
Cyclobenzaprine HCl Flexeril Treatment of tension headaches   Dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness
Metaxalone Skelaxin Treatment of tension headaches   Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nervousness

Beware of over-the-counter headache medications

  • Understand information about active ingredients in each product. Be sure to read the entire drug information.
  • Do not exceed the recommended dose on the package.
  • Carefully consider the use of quick-relief medications and all medications because abuse is highly likely.
  • Check with your doctor before taking products containing aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, or if you have bleeding problems; asthma; recent or upcoming dental surgery or surgery; have ulcers, kidney or liver disorders; taking any other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Check with your doctor before taking acetaminophen if you have kidney or liver problems.

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