How effective is acetaminophen for treating migraine?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Acetaminophen reduces moderate to severe migraine pain down to mild pain within 2 hours for about 50% of people, and down to no pain for about 20%.

Guidelines for treating migraine attacks published by the American Headache Society list the following acetaminophen combinations as effective, probably effective, and possibly effective. 

  • Effective: acetaminophen, acetaminophen/aspirin/caffeine
  • Probably effective: acetaminophen/codeine, acetaminophen/tramadol, acetaminophen/isometheptene
  • Possibly effective: acetaminophen/butalbital/caffeine 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.