About Headache

Almost everyone has had a headache. Headache is the most common form of pain. It's a major reason people miss days at work or school or visit the doctor.

The most common type of headache is a tension headache. Tension headaches are due to tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. They are often related to stress, depression or anxiety. You are more likely to get tension headaches if you work too much, don't get enough sleep, miss meals, or use alcohol.

Other common types of headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches. Most people can feel much better by making lifestyle changes, learning ways to relax and taking pain relievers.

Not all headaches require a doctor's attention. But sometimes headaches warn of a more serious disorder. Let your health care provider know if you have sudden, severe headaches. Get medical help right away if you have a headache after a blow to your head, or if you have a headache along with a stiff neck, fever, confusion, loss of consciousness, or pain in the eye or ear.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Top Medications for Headache according to our users

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All Medications for Headache


  • Pain reliever > Salicylate

  • Pain reliever > Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)

    • Ibuprofen
      Prescription or OTC

      Advil (Ibuprofen) works well for mild to moderate pain and inflammation, but it doesn't last as long as other NSAIDs.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Chewable tablet
      • Oral suspension
    • Indocin
      Prescription only

      Indocin (Indomethacin) works well for mild to moderate pain and swelling, but it shouldn't be used long-term since it has some serious side effects.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release
      • Liquid
      • Suppository
    • Ketorolac
      Prescription only

      Toradol (Ketorolac) is an okay medication for some types of short-term pain, but don't take it for longer than you really need it.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Injection
  • Anticoagulant > Anti-platelet

  • Muscle relaxer > Centrally-acting alpha agonist

    • Zanaflex
      Prescription only

      Zanaflex (Tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasms. Try other options before using this.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill

Medication side effects for Headache

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Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Headache

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • go to the doctor
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Besides medications, what else has worked for you?

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