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How do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) relieve headache pain?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, relieve pain by inhibiting prostaglandins, compounds implicated in the inflammatory responses. These drugs help reduce the swelling associated with the pain of headaches.

NSAIDs, along with analgesics, are considered a first-line treatment for sufferers of mild to moderate headache pain. These medications have been proved effective in preventing migraines; in particular, naproxen is especially effective in preventing menstrual migraines.

NSAIDs may be taken in conjunction with metoclopramide as first-line treatment for migraines to reduce nausea and/or vomiting.

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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.