Migraine Headache (cont.)
Migraine Headache Self-Care at Home
Most migraineurs can manage mild-to-moderate attacks at home with the following strategies:
- Using a cold compress on the area of pain
- Resting with pillows comfortably supporting the head or neck
- Resting in a room with little or no sensory stimulation (from light, sound, or odors)
- Withdrawing from stressful surroundings
- Drinking a moderate amount of caffeine
- Trying certain over-the-counter headache medications
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): These include medications like aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen. Stomach ulcers and bleeding are serious potential side effects. This type of medication should not be taken by anyone with a history of stomach bleeding. A doctor or pharmacist should be asked about possible medicine interactions if the migraineur is taking other drugs.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol): Acetaminophen may be safely taken with NSAIDs for an additive effect. Taking acetaminophen by itself is usually safe, even with a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding. Acetaminophen should not be taken if the migraineur has liver problems or has three or more alcoholic drinks a day.
- Combination medications: Some over-the-counter pain relievers have been approved for use with migraine. These include Excedrin Migraine, which contains acetaminophen and aspirin combined with caffeine. A similar effect can be achieved by taking two aspirin or acetaminophen tablets with a cup of black coffee.
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