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Free Medical Advice sponsored by
Got an ache or pain? Have a question about a prescription or over-the-counter drug? Looking for some FREE medical advice?
Question:
I have a history of migraines. Until recently, I haven't had many problems with headaches. But this last weekend I had a big one and for the past two days I've had this hovering headache (and this time it's *not* a hangover.) I usually take Excedrin Migraine pills, but sometimes end up taking 6-8 pills per day. I wonder if there are any over the counter headache medicines that can deal with migraine symptoms relatively fast. Thanks!
OW
Answer:
Thank you for your inquiry. The short answer is, there are no OTC medicines that work well for migraine. The "best" i.e. most likely to be effective medicine to try after you've tried the cheaper non-prescription analgesics (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, either singly or in combination with caffeine), will contain one of the triptans, such as sumatriptan. (Compounds containing ergotamine are gradually waning in popularity because sumitriptan and its descendants are more effective for most people - but not for all). However this is 1) expensive and 2) a prescription medicine and 3) best used only when the diagnosis is fairly sure. If you are having a non-typical episode then it would be prudent to see your doctor first and be sure that this is still migraine albeit a "nasty one". You do not mention your age or state of health / medical history and these could be important if what you think is a migraine is not and your headache is from another cause (especially if you have heart disease or high blood pressure). (Sumitriptan & co. work poorly or not at all in non-migrainous causes of headache). Hope this helps Best regards
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