Headache Medicines

Prescription Headache Medications

Some people may need stronger pain medicines that are available only by prescription. These can include other NSAIDs, such as:
 
Keep in mind that just because one NSAID does not work, it does not mean that all of them will not work.
 

Migraine Headache Medicines

Migraine medications are used for two purposes, to relieve the symptoms during migraine attacks and to prevent the attacks from occurring. For infrequent migraines, medications can be taken at the first sign of a headache in order to stop it or to at least ease the pain. For headaches that occur two or more times a week, preventive migraine medication is usually recommended.
 
(Click Migraine Medications to see a complete list of medications that may be recommended for either the treatment of acute migraines or migraine prevention.)
 

Medications for Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are known for their extreme pain and their pattern of occurring in "clusters," usually at the same time(s) of the day for several weeks. The sudden start and brief duration of cluster headaches can make them difficult to treat once the headache has started. However, research scientists have identified several effective medications for cluster headache treatment that can decrease the pain, severity, and duration of an attack. These medicines can include:
 
Prevention of cluster headaches is an integral part of any treatment plan. The exact medication recommended for you will depend on other medical conditions you may have and previous medicines that you have tried.
 
Preventive medications for cluster headaches are generally used for either a short-term, transitional strategy, or a long-term maintenance strategy. The short-term medications work quickly, but may have undesirable side effects. They can include:
 
Long-term medications take effect more slowly, but can be used safely throughout the cluster period. They can include:
 
(Click Cluster Headache Treatment for more information on how these types of headaches are treated.)
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