Your doctor may prescribe drugs to prevent and treat tension headaches. Drugs that may help prevent tension headaches include:
Drugs prescribed to treat the pain of tension headaches include:
Nonprescription Pain Relievers — These are usually adequate to relieve mild to moderate pain. They include aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen.
Combination Pain Relievers — The use of these drugs is limited, because overuse can worsen the headache pattern and over time can become habit forming. These drugs often contain butalbital, a barbiturate or narcotics combined with aspirin or acetaminophen.
If your doctor prescribes you medication, be sure to ask:
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.