Irina Yuzup” title=”Irina Yuzup“/>

Candidate of Medical Sciences, pediatrician, nutritionist, co-founder of the UniProf Academy of Physicians

Should I endure a headache or should I immediately take a pill?

To drink or not to take headache pills? The answer to this question depends on the cause of its occurrence. Uncontrolled intake of drugs can cause health problems, especially when a headache becomes a symptom of a disease.

Back in 2013, the International Headache Society (IHS) proposed a classification according to which headaches are divided into three groups.

primary headaches

So called those that are not caused by concomitant diseases.


An independent neurological disease that occurs due to a violation of the tone of the vessels of the brain. It has three stages: aura (the appearance of “spots” or “flies” before the eyes), the appearance of a headache, the occurrence of nausea and vomiting.

With this disease, an attack can last from seven to 42 hours. The pain appears in one part of the head, as if pulsating, and increases with physical exertion. However, light activity can even be beneficial. In what cases sports help to cope with a headache, read the article.

How to get rid of a headache without medication?
How to get rid of a headache without medication?

Treatment: The first stage of treatment is the removal of symptoms, including with the help of painkillers. If the pain does not go away after taking the drug, the doctor may prescribe more potent drugs.

cluster headaches

They differ in a severe course, affect one side of the head, have a bursting, burning, sharp character. The duration of the attack is from 15 to 45 minutes.

Treatment: self-treatment is usually powerless. Ordinary headache pills do not work. In this case, you must consult a doctor.

Tension headache

It manifests itself in episodes from 30 minutes to several days. It is characterized by the absence of pulsation. Such pain seems to squeeze the head, does not increase with physical exertion, sometimes it is accompanied by mild nausea. The reasons for its appearance are muscle tension and an emotional factor.

Treatment: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or simple painkillers are used. With such a headache, you should not take drugs containing caffeine, barbiturates, codeine.

Secondary headaches

Associated with the underlying disease. Among the causes of their occurrence: head and neck injuries, oncological, mental illness, infections, drug abuse, including headache medications.

Treatment: To get rid of a secondary headache, it is necessary to cure the underlying disease. If you try to drown out the symptoms with painkillers, there is a risk of not noticing the disease itself and provoking a deterioration in the condition. Only the attending physician can prescribe a specific drug for headache, taking into account the diagnosis and contraindications.

Neuralgic headaches

These are piercing pains, attacks can be repeated one after another and last for hours and even days.

Treatment: conventional painkillers in this case are ineffective, special drugs are required.

Separately, it is worth highlighting psychalgia or phantom headaches. They occur without any somatic, hormonal, organic lesions. Most often they are provoked by neuroses, which are accompanied by anxiety and panic attacks. In this case, the pain is treated with the help of sedative drugs and psychotherapy.

In some cases, certain foods can help relieve headaches. Which ones, read in the previous article.

“Cure” in the kitchen: what can replace a headache pill?

If you are constantly haunted by headaches, do not self-medicate. Instead of experimenting with painkillers, see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and timely help.

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