Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Acute Headache Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with a headache include:


Acetaminophen
  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.

Aspirin

Ibuprofen

Naproxen

Ketoprofen

NSAID Precautions

Continue to Acute Headache Pain in Children

Last Updated: Dec 14, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Acute Headache References
  1. Bandell-Hoekstra I, Abu-Saad HH, Passchier J, Knipschild P. Recurrent headache, coping, and quality of life in children: a review. Headache. 2000 May;40(5):357-70. [10849029]
  2. Bilchik TR. A review of nonvalidated and complementary therapies for cluster headache. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2004 Apr;8(2):157-61. [14980151]
  3. Colman I, Brown MD, Innes GD, Grafstein E, Roberts TE, Rowe BH. Parenteral dihydroergotamine for acute migraine headache: a systematic review of the literature. Ann Emerg Med. 2005 Apr;45(4):393-401. [15795718]
  4. Jensen R. Pathophysiological mechanisms of tension-type headache: a review of epidemiological and experimental studies. Cephalalgia. 1999 Jul;19(6):602-21. [10448549]
  5. Manias P, Tagaris G, Karageorgiou K. Acupuncture in headache: a critical review. Clin J Pain. 2000 Dec;16(4):334-9. [11153790]
  6. Rains JC, Penzien DB, McCrory DC, Gray RN. Behavioral headache treatment: history, review of the empirical literature, and methodological critique. Headache. 2005 May;45 Suppl 2:S92-109. [15921506]
  7. Rozen TD. Interventional treatment for cluster headache: a review of the options. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2002 Feb;6(1):57-64. [11749879]
  8. Smetana GW. The diagnostic value of historical features in primary headache syndromes: a comprehensive review. Arch Intern Med. 2000 Oct 9;160(18):2729-37. [11025782]
  9. Walker RA, Wadman MC. Headache in the elderly. Clin Geriatr Med. 2007 May;23(2):291-305, v-vi. [17462518]
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