• Top 10 Best Medications for Headaches to Buy Online 2020 1
  • Top 10 Best Medications for Headaches to Buy Online 2020 2
  • Top 10 Best Medications for Headaches to Buy Online 2020 3
  • Top 10 Best Medications for Headaches to Buy Online 2020 4
  • Top 10 Best Medications for Headaches to Buy Online 2020 5

Top 10 Best Medications for Headaches to Buy Online 2020

Most of us use regular, over the counter (OTC) headache medicine, without considering which ingredients are best for us individually. In reality, each person is affected differently by ingredients such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, caffeine, and naproxen sodium. Effectiveness will also depend on the type of headache–whether it’s a tension headache or migraine.

There are many kinds of headache medicines on the market, all promising fast results. They also all differ in price, which can be very confusing. Today, we’ll teach you how to choose the best headache medicine for you, with product reviews, prices, and comparisons. Hope this helps!
  • Last updated: 10-30-2019
  • 826 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose Headache Medication – Buying Guide

When choosing an over the counter (OTC) headache medicine, it’s important to choose ingredients that match your level and type of pain. Figure out which medicine best fits your symptoms by referencing the following points.

Understand What Different Ingredients Do and Choose Something with Appropriate Strength

There are 5 main ingredients in OTC headache medicines on the market: aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and a combination of aspirin + acetaminophen + caffeine. Each ingredient comes with its own side effects, so always read the label.

During Times You’re Unable to Rest or Work, Select “Fast-Acting” Medications

During Times You’re Unable to Rest or Work, Select “Fast-Acting” Medications
Acetaminophen, apart from being better for your stomach, is advantageous in how fast it works to relieve your headaches. Many headache medicines will say they are fast-acting. See if they have acetaminophen in them so you know you’ve made the right choice if you need immediate relief.
Note: Acetaminophen is a common ingredient in cold medicine. If you’re already taking cold medicine, check the ingredients before taking any additional acetaminophen, as a combination of the two would lead to an overdose.
Three other fast-acting ingredients are ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and caffeine. Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium both work within 30 minutes. But while Aleve (naproxen sodium) offers pills that are strong enough to last 12 hours, ibuprofen pills tend to wear off more quickly.
Aspirin is also great because it’s a fast-acting analgesic (pain reliever) that can wipe away your headache immediately during work or before a night out on the town. And why is caffeine a third fast-acting ingredient in headache medicine? Right before a headache, blood vessels enlarge. Caffeine causes these vessels to narrow–blood flow is restricted and your headache goes away.
Whichever primary ingredient you choose, keep in mind that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen sodium can cause ulcers in the stomach or irritation of the stomach lining, so use these with caution and always talk with your doctor about any concerns.

To Prevent Stomach Issues, Use Stomach-Friendly Headache Medicines

By choosing a stomach-friendly headache medicine, you’ll avoid sacrificing a healthy stomach just to take away a headache. Your best bet is to select a medicine with acetaminophen as a main ingredient, although there’s “safety-coated” aspirin available as well (in the list below!).
For stronger relief, your doctor can prescribe you Fentanyl, whose main ingredient is ethenzamide. Remember always that ethenzamide is an extremely powerful ingredient and should only be used as directed and when prescribed by a physician. Since it’s not an OTC medication, it won’t be discussed more in detail here, so speak to your physician if you have any questions.

If You Have Both Pain and a Fever, We Recommend “Antipyretic Analgesics”

If You Have Both Pain and a Fever, We Recommend “Antipyretic Analgesics”
Big words, simple idea: “antipyretic” merely means “preventing or reducing fever.” These medicines are NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin. NSAIDs will not only take away your pain, but also reduce your fever, as they are key anti-inflammatory agents. Big names in ibuprofen are Motrin and Advil; Bayer is a top name in aspirin.
Ibuprofen, since it’s a fever-reducer, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic, is a triple threat for your headaches because it also reduces fever and swelling. Just remember to take with caution, as it’s good for your head but rough on your stomach. Also, don’t take any medication with sleep-inducing ingredients (read the label), as that would affect your ability to work and drive.

Choose Between Ingredients According to Your Symptoms

Choose Between Ingredients According to Your Symptoms
Although all the ingredients mentioned are analgesics (pain relievers), you need to focus on your symptoms to pick the right medicine. If you want to cure a headache only, or if it’s just a regular headache (versus tension or migraine, for example), you can choose freely among medications containing the ingredients mentioned above.
However, medications with both sedatives and analgesics cause drowsiness. If you’re going to be taking medication at school or work, choose one with no sedatives in the ingredients list. Also, if you’re taking a headache medicine and your stomach becomes painful, start taking antacids and consult with your doctor about switching to a different headache medicine.
Antacids will suppress stomach upset. The main ingredients are calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, aluminum hydroxide and/or sodium bicarbonate–check the ingredient list before taking to make sure there won’t be any unwelcome side effects.

Always Consult with Your Doctor First If You Are or Could Be Pregnant

Always Consult with Your Doctor First If You Are or Could Be Pregnant
Unfortunately, pregnant women cannot take many headache medications. The ingredients could negatively affect the fetus’s development, so consult with your doctor before taking any new medications. Even after giving birth, small amounts of medication often make their way into breast milk, so take only safe medications while you’re nursing your child.

For Children, Always Check Age-Appropriate Dosages

For Children, Always Check Age-Appropriate Dosages
Child-friendly medicines aren’t just for children because of the appealing flavors, but also because they take into account the appropriate dosage a child needs of a certain medicine.
Before giving headache medicine to a child, check the label. This will typically tell you if you can give a smaller amount of a medicine to a child, or if you need to consult a doctor first, or if you need the children’s version of the medication. Regular medicines take into account the body size of an adult, and so should never be given freely to children.

Top 10 Headache Medicines to Buy Online

The following recommendations are all for adults and available over the counter, so be sure to do additional searches if you need a children’s version, and speak to your doctor if you need a prescription for something stronger.

10. BC Aspirin Powder

$4.24

9. Equate Headache Relief

$4.36

8. Sudafed Pressure + Pain

$6.48

7. Goody’s Extra Strength Powder

$5.57

6. Excedrin Migraine

$8.47

5. Aleve Liquid Gels with Naproxen Sodium

$8.99

2. Tylenol Extra Strength

$3.97

Things to Look Out for When Using Headache Medication

Finally, let’s go over how to be careful when taking pills or powder for headaches. Since these products can be obtained so easily, they can also easily be misused. Here’s what you need to know to take this medicine correctly.

Don’t Overdose, and Drink Water

Don’t Overdose, and Drink Water
The most important thing to remember when taking any medication is: pay attention to the label. To avoid an overdose, take only the amount of pills recommended, and only as often as the label says. And be careful what you take it with–your safest bet is water, as alcohol, coffee, or juice with pain medication could cause serious side effects such as excessively slowed breathing or kidney issues.
If you feel a headache coming on after drinking coffee, wait at least 30 minutes before taking headache medication. Since it takes about 45 minutes for caffeine to be absorbed into the small intestine, you need to wait that long before taking medicine for effects to really kick in.

Take Medicine at Pain Onset, But Be Careful with Migraines

Take Medicine at Pain Onset, But Be Careful with Migraines
Headache pain tends to worsen and spread with time. Take medicine early, as a little pain will take less time to go away than more severe pain. This is one time where it’s better to take action fast than tough it out.
Just take care if you have migraines. Most headache medicines aren’t suited for migraines; instead, they’re typically directed towards “tension headaches.” Tension headaches are often caused by decreased blood flow and stress, etc., whereas the cause and effects of migraines are a bit different. For this reason, look for medicines marked “migraine,” such as Excedrin Migraine above.

Summary

So this sums up our list of highly recommended over the counter headache medicines. To ensure quality options for you, we’ve selected medicines with varying ingredients as well as given you an option of capsule, caplet, or powder. We hope that this list is helpful when you are selecting your next headache medicine.

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