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Some headache remedies, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or analgesics, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, can be used in cases of mild to moderate headache caused by factors such as fever, excess stress or tiredness, for example.
In addition, in case of severe headache or migraine, there are drug options that may be indicated by the doctor, such as sumatriptan or dihydroergotamine mesylate, as they promote a narrowing of cerebral blood vessels and block the pain.
Headache treatment should always be guided by the doctor, who can indicate the best remedy individually according to age, type of headache and its severity. Check out the main types of headache.
The pharmacy remedies that are usually prescribed by the doctor to relieve the headache are:
Analgesics, such as paracetamol (Tylenol) or dipyrone (Novalgina), are remedies indicated for headaches, as they act by inhibiting the production of substances in the brain responsible for pain, such as prostaglandins or cyclooxygenases. See how to correctly take paracetamol or dipyrone.
These remedies can be found in pharmacies or drugstores, and although they are sold without the need to present a prescription, the ideal is that they are taken with a doctor's recommendation, as they are contraindicated for people with liver problems or who have the impaired bone marrow function.
Furthermore, acetaminophen, when used in larger than recommended doses, can seriously affect the liver, cause drug-induced hepatitis, and be life-threatening. Know how to identify the symptoms of drug-induced hepatitis.
2. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs, work by reducing the production of inflammatory substances in the body, such as prostaglandins and thromboxanes, helping to relieve headaches.
Some anti-inflammatories that can be used for mild to moderate headache are ibuprofen (Advil, Ibupril) or acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin), and should be taken with medical indication, as they are not indicated during pregnancy, breastfeeding or by people who have stomach ulcers, gastritis, kidney disease, chickenpox or suspected dengue.
There are also some remedies that contain associations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or analgesics with caffeine, which act by increasing the analgesic effect, such as Doril Migraine, Cafiaspirin, Sonridor or Tylenol DC, for example.
Triptans, such as sumatriptan (Sumax, Imigran), naratriptan (Naramig), or zolmitriptan (Zomig), may be prescribed by your doctor for severe headache or migraine attacks. See other remedies that may be indicated for the treatment and prevention of migraine.
These drugs act on the brain causing a narrowing of the cerebral blood vessels and blocking pain, and should only be used by adults, being contraindicated during pregnancy, or for people who have high blood pressure or cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery or peripheral blood vessels.
Ergotamine drugs, such as dihydroergotamine mesylate, may be prescribed by the doctor to relieve severe headache or migraine attacks in adults, and are usually found in association with pain relievers such as dipyrone and caffeine.
Some examples of medicines containing dihydroergotamine mesylate are Cefaliv, Migraliv, Cefalium or Enxak, and should not be used by children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or by people with severe impairment of liver and kidney disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, peripheral vascular disease, history of acute myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, and other ischemic heart disease.
In addition, dihydroergotamine mesylate should not be used by people who are allergic to aspirin, acetaminophen, or other non-steroidal analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Pregnancy Headache Remedy
For pregnant women, the medicine for headache that is usually indicated is paracetamol, which despite not harming the baby, its use should only be done if indicated by the obstetrician.
During pregnancy, it is best to resort to natural and homemade options, as an alternative to medication, because many of them can pass to the baby, which can harm its development. See a great home remedy for a headache during pregnancy.
Natural Headache Remedy Options
Some options for natural remedies for headaches are drinking chamomile tea or peppermint tea, as they have substances with anti-inflammatory or analgesic properties, being a good option for a home remedy for headaches caused by excess stress or anxiety, for example. Learn how to prepare home remedies for headache.
Also, one way to help relieve a headache is to apply a cold compress to the forehead or back of the neck, leaving it on for 5 to 15 minutes, as the cold contributes to the constriction of blood vessels, decreasing the headache. In addition, having a head massage can help improve blood circulation, decrease pain, and promote relaxation. See the step by step of how to do the massage.
However, it is important to point out that the use of these or any other natural remedy should not replace the remedies indicated by the doctor, being just a way to help relieve pain more quickly.