Since tension headaches are caused by factors such as neck strain, stress, and anxiety, treatment involves eliminating the stressful situation, if possible. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen* or ibuprofen, and finding ways to relax, rest, correct poor posture, and exercise can all help to relieve and prevent headache pain.
Cluster headaches respond poorly to over-the-counter medications. Oxygen therapy and prescription medications such as lithium, calcium channel blockers (used also to treat high blood pressure), steroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and some antimigraine medications, among others, can help in many cases. If you suspect that you have cluster headaches, you should check with your doctor.
Sinus headaches usually require antibiotics or other treatments to clear up the infection. Once the infection is gone, the headache will go away, too. Until the infection gets better, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever can help ease the pain.
Migraines can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), acetaminophen, or ibuprofen, if the headaches are mild.
Stronger medications may need to be prescribed if the headaches are more severe. These can be divided into two groups:
1) Acute treatments:
- pain relievers containing codeine or meperidine
- ergot derivatives (e.g., ergotamine)
- serotonin agonists called "triptans" (e.g., sumatriptan, zolmitriptan)
- dopamine antagonists (e.g., metoclopramide, prochlorperazine)
2) Preventive treatments:
- antiseizure medications such as valproic acid, divalproex sodium, gabapentin, and topiramate
- blood pressure medications such as beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol or metoprolol), candesartan, lisinopril, and calcium channel blockers (e.g., flunarizine and verapamil)
- riboflavin (vitamin B2), coenzyme Q10, butterbur, or magnesium supplements
- serotonin blockers such as pizotifen
- tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline
- avoiding headache triggers
There is some evidence suggesting that chiropractic care, such as spinal manipulation, can help alleviate headaches originating from the neck.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Headaches