Medically Reviewed by,
July 16, 2021

Are OTC drugs effective to treat headache

OTC medicine for headache: Many people want fast headache relief and desperately need good headache tablets.

OTC Medicine for Headache

A majority of people resort to OTC drugs for headache immediate relief and those who know something about the management of headaches may go for instant home remedies for headache and others search for instant migraine relief at home. The big question here is do home remedies for migraine headache work.

In some cases, even the best tablet for headache and strongest headache medicine may not work, then how can OTC drugs prove effective, is a million-dollar question.

The common over the counter pain medications (OTC) that help stop headache and give headache relief include aspirin, naproxen (a common migraine headache medicine), acetaminophen, ibuprofen and the medicines that have acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine together in combination. Most of these medicines are used as remedies for headache. For a severe and debilitating headache nobody thinks of a natural remedy for headache. For migraine headache, many people try to get instant migraine relief at home. Of all the medicines, headache pills are most commonly used.

Many a times when you experience headache, you prefer taking over-the-counter pain medicines owing to the fact that these medicines have fewer side-effects than prescription medicines. However, you have to be always careful with the medicines you take. The reason, there is no SAFEST HEADACHE MEDICINE at all. There are no headache tablets without side effects either.

Read complete information and all instructions on the label. However, you cannot take OTCs for all types of headache treatment.

Let us learn more about headache pills and best tablet for headache.

Facts to consider while using OTC medicine for headache

You should always remember that all headache OTC medications are not same, even the so called over the counter tablets for migraine; and therefore, OTC drugs (Best painkillers for headaches) will not be effective in all cases. The next issue with the OTC drugs is that you cannot take OTC drugs more than 3 times a week as you may get rebound headaches. This means there is no safest headache medicine either.

Rebound headaches usually occur when the medicine wears off and thus you get prompted to take the next dose of the medicine – that’s how you get habituated to use OTC drugs as every time you stop taking the medicines, your headache returns. When you encounter this unwanted scenario, you may start searching for Strongest headache medicine – that too may not work for long. OTC tablets for headache may not work as per your anticipation.

Then, why you need prescription medicines?

Your doctor prescribes prescription medicines if you have been taking OTCs for some time and the drugs are not so effective in treating your headache; if you get headaches for maximum number of days in a month and to stop headaches you have taken OTCs thrice a week. In such cases, your physician will advise you to take prescription medicine every day to treat headache.

What if you have tension headache?

Those who have been suffering from tension headaches may search for the best medicine for tension headache. You can’t by yourself decide which headache you are having and which is the best medicine for tension headache: unless your doctor examines you and decides which drugs to prescribe.

The medicines your doctor prescribes for your tension headache may have some side effects, which may last for a few days to weeks – This does not mean that you have to stop the drug. Your doctor may try several different drugs or types of drugs or combinations of drugs before he or she finds the right kind of drug (the best medicine for tension headache) that is best for you.

Some of the prescription medicines for tension or anxiety related or depression related headache include anti-anxiety medicines, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, etc.

Therefore, your doctor prescribes you the medicines to be taken on a regular basis to prevent tension headaches. In addition to the prescription medicines, you should also focus on some alternative methods of coping up with your problem. The other things that you can try besides medicines include biofeedback and cognitive behavioural therapy.

What to disclose to your doctor?

You have to ask your doctor about the effects of your drugs and how well they work to treat your headache. Next, you must disclose to your doctor about the other medicines you are taking and are supposed to take. It is very important because some medicines may cause adverse reaction in combination with the pain medicines prescribed by your doctor.

Before your doctor prescribes pain medicines to you, let the doctor know about all the other medicines you are taking including the supplementary (herbal or dietary supplements) or alternative medicines (homeopathy) along with the OTCs as all these medicines and supplements may cause adverse reaction with your headache medicines.

Bottom Line

The normal human tendency prompts an individual to search for OTC medicine for headache if he or she has severe headache. Similarly, people who often suffer from chronic migraine also search for the best medicine for migraine. This sort of approach to treat your headache or migraine is not legitimate or proper. The rule of thumb or the best bet is to always consult a specialist doctor for your headaches and migraines rather than taking over the counter pain relief for headaches.


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