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Tension Headache (cont.)

Tension Headache Treatment

Patient Comments

The most common treatment includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

Home Remedies for Tension Headache

Patient Comments

Most people with tension-type headache find relief with over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

  • Certain people may require prescription-strength pain relievers for particularly severe episodes.
  • Frequent use of medications to treat symptoms of headache may actually cause episodic tension-type headache to become chronic in nature.

Medical Treatment for Tension Headache

Doctors will suggest over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and other NSAIDs. These provide relief for most people with tension-type headache.

Tension Headache Medications

Prescription-strength pain relievers may be given once the doctor has a better understanding of a person's headache and other coexisting medical conditions. Doctors are careful, however, to prevent people from becoming dependent on strong narcotic drugs, especially when headaches come back again and again.

For headache pain that cannot be controlled with pain relievers, doctors may prescribe preventive therapy such as antidepressants, beta-blockers, or anticonvulsants.

Tension Headache Follow-up

People with the diagnosis of tension-type headache should take medications as directed and arrange a return visit to the doctor in 1-2 weeks. At that time, the doctor can make medication adjustments or provide further diagnostic work if the diagnosis remains uncertain.

  • Medical attention should be sought immediately if new symptoms or a profound change in symptoms are experienced.
  • If a person has depression or anxiety disorders, or if he or she simply overuses medications, detoxification is necessary before effective treatment can begin. Some people with very complex situations may benefit from combinations of medications. In these cases, the doctor may make referrals to neurologists, psychiatrists, or anesthesiologists.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/25/2016
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Tension Headache - Symptoms

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Tension Headache - Treatment

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Tension Headache - Home Remedy

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Headache, Tension »

The International Headache Society (IHS) began developing a classification system for headaches in 1985.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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