In which cases antispasmodics for headache can be prescribed and how to take them correctly

To prescribe a specific drug in pills should a doctor based on the diagnosis and condition of the patient, the presence of specific contraindications.

Why antispasmodics help with headaches

Cephalgia is rarely primary in nature and is usually a symptom of other diseases. Most often, pain in the head occurs on the background of somatic pathologies, cerebrovascular disorders, hyperthermia, with . Many of these conditions cause a reduction in the smooth muscles of the cerebral vessels and, accordingly, painful sensations.

Read also … Why does the right part of the head hurt: features of symptom localization and possible causes

Since the cause of the pain syndrome is a spasm, its elimination will help to stop the attack. Drugs classified as antispasmodics and vasodilators are used for this. When ingested, they directly or indirectly contribute to the of smooth muscle fibers and an increase in the lumen of the blood vessels of the brain.

Drug classification

Vasodilator drugs for headache have a vasoconstrictor effect through various mechanisms. Some of them, getting into the bloodstream, affect the smooth muscles of the cerebral arteries directly. Such drugs are called myotropic, these include Papaverine, Drotaverine (better known as No-shpa), benziklan or bendazole.

Other medications with a vasodilating effect regulate vascular tone indirectly. This group includes:

  • m-cholinolytics – Pitofenon, Atropine;
  • alpha adrenoblockers – Nicergolin, Ergotamine;
  • adrenomimetics – Clenbuterol, Salbutamol.

Some agents block slow calcium channels, others shield the receptors of the from mediators, preventing its excitation. To relieve spasm of cerebral vessels, vasodilators of myotropic action are more often used.

In which cases antispasmodics for headache can be prescribed and how to take them correctly

The most effective antispasmodic for headaches

In pharmacy chains, vasodilators for headache are sold without prescriptions. However, they cannot be used without medical prescription for several reasons. First of all, you need to know exactly the cause of cephalgia: it does not always occur due to spasms, therefore, antispasmodic drugs may be ineffective.

In addition, each drug has specific contraindications, may be incompatible with other medicines, cause adverse adverse reactions from the body. Therefore, the following short list of effective antispasmodics is for informational purposes only, not being a self-treatment manual.

No-spa or Drotaverine

The most effective drug group, widely known under the trade name No-shpa. The active ingredient Drotaverinum (40 mg per tablet), which inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase and prevents the entry of calcium into the cells of smooth muscle tissue, has vasoconstrictor properties. After ingestion, the drug is quickly and almost completely absorbed, providing a therapeutic effect within a few minutes.

The list of contraindications include:

  • severe forms of liver, heart, kidney failure;
  • age under 6 years;
  • lactation period;
  • intolerance to the components of the drug.

In pregnancy, Drotaverinum can be taken, but with caution, since no clinical studies of its safety have been conducted for the fetus. For the same reason, it is undesirable to breastfeed while taking the medicine. Adverse reactions of the body are extremely rare, less than in 1 case out of 1000. Among the undesirable effects are nausea, headache, hypotension.


Another myotropic antispasmodic with a similar mechanism of action. However, it is less fully absorbed, so the therapeutic effect is less pronounced and slower. Several dosage forms of papaverine for headache are available:

  • 40 mg oral tablets;
  • rectal suppositories 20 mg;
  • injection solution with a concentration of the active substance of 20 mg / ml.

All dosage forms are contraindicated for liver failure, glaucoma, antrioventricular block, hypersensitivity to papaverine hydrochloride. It is also impossible to prescribe medication with papaverine for the elderly and under 6 months. Since there have been no reliable clinical studies of the effect of the drug on the fetus, it is undesirable to use it.

Spazgan or spazmalgon

Under such trade names, two combined drugs with similar composition are available. In the list of active substances are:

  • analgesic metamizole sodium;
  • antispasmodic pitofenon;
  • Fepiverinium bromide – anticholinergic, neurotropic antispasmodic.

The potent analgesic effect of these pills against cramps in the head is due to the mutual reinforcement of the . Undesirable side reactions are extremely rare, but the drug has many limitations to use.

Spazmalgon is contraindicated for pregnant women, especially in the 1st trimester, for lactating women, children under 5 years of age. Also, it should not be taken by persons with liver insufficiency, glaucoma, gastrointestinal obstruction, hematopoietic disorders, and some other pathologies. 


Tablets of 100 mg on the basis of benzklan fumarate, which has a pronounced vasodilating effect. The tool effectively relaxes the smooth muscles of cerebral and peripheral vessels, but has a wide range of contraindications.

You can not take it during pregnancy, lactation, assign adolescents and children (up to 18 years), patients with certain types of neurological disorders, heart failure, kidney, liver. Under the ban, the drug is also for persons with brain and skull injuries in history, hemorrhagic stroke, myocardial infarction.

To stop a headache, you need to take one pill no more than 4 times a day. Special attention requires joint reception with other drugs. For example, sedatives in combination with Halidor inhibit the activity of the central nervous system, and glycosides with it contribute to heart rhythm disturbances. With the recommended dosage and no contraindications, the drug is well tolerated, side effects in the form of digestive disorders, nervous or cardiac activity are rarely observed.

Antispasmodics during pregnancy

A special state of the hormonal system and the body of a woman as a whole during the period of childbearing often contributes to the violation of the tone of the cerebral vessels. Spasms that cause cephalgia can take a systematic character, which has a very negative effect on the general well-being of a pregnant woman. However, many of the effective medicines at this time are contraindicated because of the high probability of their harmful effects on the fetus.

In the first trimester, it is undesirable to take any antispasmodics from the list of drugs for headaches. The teratogenic effects of some of them have been proven, while others have not been studied in clinical settings sufficiently. However, if spasms of cerebral vessels and cephalgia adversely affect the course of pregnancy, it is allowed to drink Drotaverine or use Papaverine suppositories for the purpose and under the supervision of the attending physician.

It is absolutely impossible for pregnant women to take vasodilating drugs on their own. 


Antispasmodics are designed to temporarily relieve vascular spasm and alleviate the condition. That is, they are symptomatic, and cannot be used continuously on an ongoing basis. If the head is often sore due to the contraction of the vascular muscles, it is necessary to thoroughly examine it in order to identify the primary disease.

After elimination of the cause of the spasms (neurological disorders, IRR, hypertension), the headache will stop worrying. In addition, even relatively safe and effective Drotaverine is undesirable to take without a doctor’s prescription.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *