- 1 How to choose a drug
- 2 Non-narcotic analgesics
- 3 Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- 4 Antispasmodics
- 5 Vasoconstrictor
- 6 The best drugs for headache
- 7 Conclusion
In accordance with the cause of the painful sensations, one of four groups of drugs or combined remedies are used. It is not necessary to prescribe a medicine on your own, as headache (cephalalgia) is often a sign of serious pathologies and requires specialized treatment. It is also necessary to take into account the contraindications and side effects of tablets in their application.
How to choose a drug
When it is reliably known that a headache is a result of fatigue, stress, lack of sleep, psycho-emotional overstrain, then you can take one of the effective analgesics. In this case, painful attacks rarely occur and are directly related to these factors. If cephalgia takes a systematic form, accompanied by nausea, disorder or loss of consciousness, dysfunction of the organs of hearing, of vision, you should consult a doctor. In this case, the reasons may be:
- cerebral circulatory disorders;
- hypertension or hypotension;
- neoplasms in the brain;
- inflammatory processes of various localization;
- osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.
Painful sensations are one of the symptoms of these diseases, therefore the use of drugs for headache is secondary, and the main treatment is aimed at eliminating its cause. In addition, with different pathologies, different groups of drugs are required, so only a doctor can prescribe a specific medicine.
Restrictions on use are of great importance: not all drugs are allowed to be used during pregnancy, when breastfeeding, given to children.
The most common category of drugs for the relief of pain. Medicinal products with different chemical structure have anesthetic effect. These include pyrazolone derivatives – Analgin, aniline – Paracetamol. They are available both in pure form and in combinations (Citramon). Analgesic properties due to the blocking of pain impulses, increased cerebral circulation, a decrease in the inflammatory response.
Analgesic drugs in this group can be taken for a long time without fear of addiction. However, they all have certain contraindications and can cause unwanted adverse reactions of various organs and systems. Analgesics are usually prescribed as symptomatic agents for colds, fatigue, stressful conditions. According to the degree of anesthesia, they are inferior to NSAIDs.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Tablets for headaches from the group of NSAIDs are prescribed in cases where the cause is inflammation in the vessels, brain structures, bones of the skull, upper respiratory tract. In addition to the anti-inflammatory action, these drugs lower body temperature and relieve pain.
The most powerful analgesic effect has Ketorolac and its analogues under other trade names. Next in order of decreasing degree of anesthesia are Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, derivatives of acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin).
Very often, headaches occur due to spasm of the smooth muscle layer of the cerebral vessels. As a result, the vascular lumen decreases, blood pressure on arterial walls increases, and painful sensations appear. Antispasmodics reduce the tone of smooth muscles, relaxing it. However, they can affect:
- on the autonomic nervous system, that is, indirectly;
- directly – preventing the contraction of muscle fibers.
The first group of antispasmodics is called neurotropic, it includes preparations of alpha-blockers, adrenomimetics, anticholinergics. The second – pills from the head of myotropic action, such as No-shpa or Drotaverinum, Papaverin.
Headache occurs with low blood pressure. Hypotension can be an independent disease (dysfunction of vasomotor centers in the brain), and develop against the background of osteochondrosis, anemia, and other pathologies. Because of the reduced tone of the arteries, the brain tissue receives less oxygen, and venous insufficiency leads to accumulation of degradation products in them.
To restore normal blood circulation and stop pain, vasoconstrictors are used – drugs that narrow the vascular lumen by reducing smooth muscles. These include, above all, ergotamine in combination with caffeine (Caffetamine).
The best drugs for headache
It is necessary to take medicines according to individual indications after the examination. The list below is intended only to familiarize yourself with the most popular headache pills, which are inexpensive but effective.
The drug belongs to the NSAIDs, is available in tablets with the content of the active substance 500 mg. When ingestion reduces pain, has anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, acetylsalicylic acid dilutes the blood, preventing platelet aggregation.
However, in modern medical practice for the treatment of cephalgia, it is used in its pure form less frequently due to the high probability of side effects. The most dangerous of these is internal bleeding. Therefore, it is recommended to use a safer (and expensive) soluble dosage form.
The most famous inexpensive headache remedy. It is widely used for the relief of painful attacks of unknown etiology, with migraines. Each tablet contains 0.5 g of metamizole sodium, whose analgesic properties appear 20 minutes after ingestion, and reach a maximum after 2 hours.
Analgin has a list of contraindications, which include diseases of the blood, kidney, liver, and pregnancy (especially in the early stages – 1st trimester).
500 mg tablets are effective in the case of pain of mild or moderate severity. The active substance is completely metabolized by the liver cells, increasing the level of hepatotoxicity of other drugs and alcohol. Therefore, chronic alcoholism is a contraindication, as is liver failure.
During pregnancy, Paracetamol can be taken – it does not harm the mother and the fetus, and the drug is produced in children in the form of syrup.
Complex preparation for cephalgia, which consists of several active ingredients:
- acetylsalicylic acid provides anti-inflammatory effect, reduces pain;
- caffeine has a stimulating effect on the center of respiration, promotes vasodilation, increases overall performance;
- Paracetamol has an analgesic effect, lowers the temperature.
The tablets will help in case of migraine, headaches of unknown origin. Among the contraindications are gastric ulcer, hemorrhagic diathesis, renal and liver dysfunction. You can not drink citramon to expectant mothers in the first and last trimester of pregnancy, as well as lactating women.
Another combination medicine for headache, the effectiveness of which is due to the active ingredients in the composition: paracetamol, naproxen, caffeine, drotaverine, pheniramine. Tablets help to stop pain, relieve vasospasm, reduce inflammation and have a mild sedative effect.
However, they are prohibited for pregnant women at any time, nursing, children and adolescents, as well as persons with various chronic diseases.
The drug has a pronounced antispasmodic effect. It is used in cases when the cause of cephalgia is a spasm of the cerebral arteries. For oral administration, tablets of 400 and 100 mg are produced (the lower dosage is intended for children).
Papaverine is usually well tolerated; side effects such as digestive disorders, allergies or drowsiness are rare.
This is the name of an inexpensive analogue of the popular No-shpa and its active ingredient. Most often, doctors recommend: “Take No-shpu or Drotaverin” with increased pressure and spasms of smooth muscles. Myotropic drug relaxes the vascular wall of the arteries of the brain, improving microcirculation, reducing pain.
It acts better than Papaverine, but it has a larger list of contraindications: younger children, cardiac arrhythmias, and liver and kidney function.
Propionic acid derivative, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent. It has a wide range of indications: tension headache or caused by osteochondrosis, vertebrobasilar syndrome, migraine. Available in tablets or capsules under both international and under other trade names (Nurofen, Ibufen, MIG).
During pregnancy, you can take the drug, but with caution. Strict contraindications include ulcerative lesions of the gastrointestinal tract, disorders of hematopoiesis, renal or hepatic impairment, age less than 6 years.
The most effective anesthetic tablet drug from the group of NSAIDs. A pill of 10 mg is recommended to drink from a severe headache caused, including neoplasms.
It is a potent drug, therefore it has many contraindications: pregnancy, lactation, age less than 16 years, ulcerative lesions of internal organs, insufficiency of the heart, liver, bleeding disorders.
Another effective drug from the group of NSAIDs in tablets of 25 or 50 mg, as well as 100 mg for the prolonged form. Quickly relieves bouts of cephalgia, especially with migraines.
It has the same contraindications as Ketorol, however, pregnant women are allowed to use (except for the last trimester).
If the headache is a consequence of low blood pressure, it is recommended to take vasoconstrictor drugs. Cofetamine tablets are a combination of 1 mg of ergotamine with 100 mg of caffeine. The latter enhances the vasoconstrictor effect of ergotamine, tones, stimulates the brain centers, improves the general condition in case of hypotension.
The drug is forbidden to use for pregnant women, nursing, and also for persons with intolerance to the components of the drug.
Since the headache in most cases indicates a serious malfunction of the body, you should consult a doctor who will prescribe the appropriate pills. Independently taking something “from the head” is possible only in emergency cases or when cephalgia is a consequence of fatigue, overstrain (that is, it has a transient nature).