What medicine is best for a tension headache?
OTC medicine for tension headaches. Many people treat tension headache on their own, using OTC (over-the-counter) medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin), or combination medications containing acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine (Excedrin).
She said people with migraines should first try general painkillers -- such as naproxen (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) -- or "migraine-specific" medications called triptans. These include sumatriptan (Imitrex) and rizatriptan (Maxalt).
- Meanwhile, over-the-counter headache products Advil and Motrin contain ibuprofen – an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat pain, fevers and swelling – which can cause stomach irritation, heartburn, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
- you might like
- Apply an ice pack to the painful part of your head.
- Take a warm bath or shower, take a nap, or take a walk.
- Ask someone to rub your neck and back, or treat yourself to a massage.
- Apply gentle, steady, rotating pressure to the painful area of your head with your index finger or thumb.
- Excedrin Migraine: This best-selling medication arrived on drugstore shelves in the late 20th century; it is a mixture of two classic analgesics, aspirin and acetaminophen, plus caffeine. Advil and Motrin Migraine: The active ingredient for these two OTC medications is the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ibuprofen.
The Cleveland Clinic pitted acetaminophen (Tylenol) against ibuprofen (Advil). They reported that Tylenol works better for things like headaches and arthritis, while you're better off with Advil for things like fever, pain and inflammation.
- Aleve – Naproxen for migraine prevention : an introduction. Naproxen and other medications in the NSAID class of pain relievers are sometimes used to prevent migraines. The popular drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are most often used by migraine sufferers who have mild or moderate migraine headaches.
- Medications include:
- Pain relievers. Aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) may help relieve mild migraines.
- Triptans. These medications are often used in treating migraines.
- Anti-nausea medications.
- Opioid medications.
- Glucocorticoids (prednisone, dexamethasone).
- A path to pain relief. Preventive measures are key to avoiding headaches. But if you do end up with a tension headache, most doctors recommend use of an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Advil, which contains ibuprofen. As with any medication, it's important to read the label before using it.
Updated: 4th November 2019