Headaches and Migraines

Headaches and migraines… Make sure you've got all the relief you need to hand

We all get headaches from time to time. They're one of the most common sorts of pain. They're mostly pretty easy to treat with over-the-counter painkillers, so it's matter of making sure you've got the right ones to hand when you need them. Migraines are less common but there are also lots of ways you can try to avoid them and ease the pain.

The best treatment for headaches

Some people prefer to use ibuprofen* for headaches, but paracetamol* is effective and has fewer side effects, so it's the usual first choice. If you need to, you can take paracetamol* alongside ibuprofen* for added pain relief. There are also combination products (paracetamol* and ibuprofen* in one) available, such as Nuromol.*

The best treatment for migraines

If you're a diagnosed migraine sufferer, you may find Imigran Recovery*, which is only available from pharmacies, or similar prescription products more helpful than painkillers. Containing sumatriptan, Imigran Recovery isn't a painkiller, but it does help to reduce the swelling of the blood vessels which causes the pain when you have a migraine.

If you feel sick with a migraine, you can try a painkiller which also contains an anti-sickness medicine, such as Migraleve Pink*. (Can cause addiction. Should only be taken for a maximum of three days.)

If you do suffer from migraines, try and take your medication as soon as you get the first signs of an attack.

Avoiding migraines

Most people's migraines will be triggered by something that's personal to them, so keep a headache diary and try and identify your particular triggers. Common ones include:

  • Bright light
  • Stress
  • Change in weather
  • Chocolate
  • Cheese
  • Wine
What's the alternative?

Alternative treatments for both headaches and migraines include cooling products, such as 4head quick strip.

Speak to your pharmacist if:
  • Your headache doesn't respond to painkillers within a day
  • You get regular headaches
  • The pain is severe
    Seek urgent medical help if:
  • Your headache follows a head injury
  • You've got other symptoms such as a rash or high temperature
  • You get a sudden onset of a severe headache
* Always read the label. Ask the pharmacist for advice.

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