Preventive Medication, Stress Reduction May Help with Chronic Headache

Q. I’ve had chronic daily headaches for more than four years. I just cannot get relief. I have tension headaches that typically start at the same time each day. Recently, I’ve been having more and more nausea and visual problems. I fear I may have rebound headache from using ibuprofen nearly daily for so long.

I would like to know if there is an invasive but guaranteed method for eliminating head pain so I can have my life back. I’m doing a trial with an implant in my forehead, but I haven’t gotten the results I was hoping for. I am now hoping my doctor will allow me to try again with an occipital area implant. Continue Reading

Ibuprofen Effective for Many Migraineurs

About half of people with migraine who take ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, etc.) will get relief, according to a systematic review of nine studies with a combined total of 4,373 participants. In the studies, just over one-fourth of those who took 400 mgs., and 20% of those who took a 200-mg. dose, were pain-free in two hours compared to 11% of people who took a placebo. Another 57% of those who took the higher dose had their pain reduced to “no worse than mild.” Nausea and other migraine-related symptoms also decreased. Continue Reading

Reader’s Mail: Headache After Surgery

Q. After waking up in recovery from gallbladder surgery, I had a headache in my forehead and temple area. I have been taking 800 mg of ibuprofen per my doctor’s advice. Several people have told me they experienced the same thing after anesthesia. How can this be treated? Continue Reading

Ask the Pharmacist: When is a Medication a Failure?

Q. Ever since having a baby I have been experiencing an average of one migraine attack per week. For home use, I was given Migranal (dihydroergotamine nasal spray). Last night I had to take the Migranal for the first time and much to my disappointment got little relief. Is this a drug that takes a couple of uses before it works? I sometimes wait until my headache is really bad before using drugs. Was I just too late in the headache for the medication to be effective?

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Ibuprofen is an analgesic. It is classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, commonly referred to as NSAIDS. Other NSAIDS are also used as analgesics. Ibuprofen can be used as a pain reliever or analgesic. It can also be used as a treatment for arthritis, fever or other conditions where inflammation plays a role in creating the symptoms. Unlike steroids, the side effects with ibuprofen are not as likely to be common or severe. The most common side effects include stomach upset, dizziness and tiredness. It may make stomach ulcers worse or cause upper gastrointestinal bleeding. It can have effects on kidney and liver functioning when used chronically. The frequent use of NSAIDs can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Studies with this agent have demonstrated it to be effective in tension-type headache. Other NSAIDS have been shown to be effective in migraine both for prevention of migraine as well as treating the acute migraine attack. Ibuprofen is available over the counter at a reduced dose from the prescription form of t
he medication. A variety of trade names are used including Advil®, Motrin® and Nuprin®.