Headache Pain Pills

Drugs for Headache Pain Relief

Pain relievers are typically the first drugs recommended by doctors for migraine and headaches. Many of these medications are over-the-counter, or available without a doctor’s prescription, while other headache drugs require a prescription. When taking these headache drugs, avoid products that contain caffeine. Any medication containing barbiturates or narcotics should be used sparingly.

Note: if symptomatic relief medications are used more than twice a week, you should see your doctor, who may prescribe preventive headache medications. Overuse of symptomatic medications can actually cause more frequent headaches or worsen headache symptoms.

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Drugs for relief of migraine or headache symptoms include:

Generic Name Brand Name Use Precautions Possible Side Effects
Acetaminophen Tylenol Pain relief Few side effects if taken as directed, although they may include: changes in blood counts and liver damage
Aspirin Bayer, BufferinEcotrin Pain relief Do not use in children younger than age 14 years due to the potential for Reye’s syndrome (a life-threatening neurological condition) Heartburn, gastrointestinal bleeding, bronchospasm or constriction that causes narrowing of the airways, anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction), ulcers
Fenoprofen Nalfon Prevention of tension headaches; migraines; hormone headaches Nausea, diarrheaindigestiondizziness, drowsiness
Flurbiprofen Ansaid Prevention of tension headaches; migraines. Treatment of tension headachemigraines Gastrointestinal upset, drowsiness, dizziness, vision problems, ulcers
Ibuprofen AdvilMotrin IB, Nuprin Treatment of tension headachemigraines Gastrointestinal upset, gastrointestinal bleeding, nausea, vomitingrashliverdamage
Ketoprofen Actron Prevention of tension headaches; migraines. Treatment of migraines Gastrointestinal upset, gastrointestinal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, rash, liverdamage
Nabumetone Relafen Prevention of tension headaches; migraines Constipationheartburn, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
Naproxen Aleve Prevention of tension headaches; hormone headaches. Treatment of migraines Gastrointestinal upset, gastrointestinal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, rash, liver damage
Diclofenac Cataflam Treatment of tension headache; migraines Stomach upset, bloating, dizziness, drowsiness, loss of appetite
Ketorolac Toradol Treatment of tension headache Gastrointestinal upset, drowsiness, dizziness, vision problems, ulcers
Meclofenate Meclomen Treatment of tension headache Nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, dizziness, drowsiness
Carisoprodol Soma Treatment of tension headache Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, headache, nervousness, skin rash, bleeding
Orphenadrinecitrate Norflex Treatment of tension headache Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nervousness, blurred vision
Methocarbamol Robaxin Treatment of tension headache Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, darkening of urine
CyclobenzaprineHCL Flexeril Treatment of tension headache Dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness
Metaxalone Skelaxin Treatment of tension headache Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nervousness
 

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