Tension Headache (cont.)
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Tension Headache Treatment
The most common treatment includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
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.
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.
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.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/20/2014
Manish K Singh, MD
Joseph Carcione Jr, DO, MBA
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James H Halsey, MD
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