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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Headache: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Headache


Headache | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin will relieve most headaches.

Medications for acute migraine attacks include:

  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen
  • isometheptene/dichloralphenazone/acetaminophen
  • butalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine
  • other pain medications, such as hydrocodone/acetaminophen
  • triptans, such as sumatriptan or zolmitriptan
  • dihydroergotamine
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Over-the-counter pain medications may cause stomach upset and allergic reactions. Other side effects depend on the medication used. Calcium channel blockers, for example, are associated with a significantly increased risk of heart attack or congestive heart failure in individuals with high blood pressure.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    Complications of headaches are usually limited. However, some causes of headaches such as brain tumors, bleeding, or meningitis may cause significant complications.

    How is the condition monitored?

    A person with frequent or severe headaches may be asked to keep a headache diary. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Headache: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/12/01

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