[caption id="attachment_2735" align="aligncenter" width="600"] A recent study indicates that aspirin taken with acetaminophen and caffeine is more effective than aspirin alone.[/caption] Tension headaches are the most common form of headaches and affect more than 20% of the population. Frequently, tension headache sufferers turn to over-the-counter medications for relief. A recent study indicates that medication containing a combination of acetylsalicylic acid, (aspirin), acetaminophen, and caffeine is more effective than acetaminophen alone.

Several medications were recently deemed the most effective for treating acute migraine, including triptans, dihydroergotamine (DHE), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), butorphanol nasal spray, and the combination medication of sumatriptan/naproxen and acetaminophen/aspirin/caffein). Several other migraine medications were considered "probably effective" or "possibly effective."

Q. Excedrin Extra Strength gelcaps each contain 250 mg. of acetaminophen, 250 mg. of aspirin and 65 mg. of caffeine. Excedrin Migraine caplets contain exactly the same amounts of each ingredient. However, the first product allows the use of eight gelcaps in 24 hours, whereas the latter only allows the use of two caplets in 24 hours. Why the difference in the allowable use of two pills of apparently the same medication?

In the fall of 2006 the NHF's Headache Education and Support Group facilitators invited their attendees to submit headache-related poetry. Because interest in this project grew, it was opened up to all who visit the NHF's web site, as well as those who read NHF HeadLines. The NHF received a variety of headache-related submissions. We have selected poems, limericks and verse that are relatable to those who suffer with this disease. We extend our sincere thanks to all who submitted their work.

AspirinFor nearly a century, aspirin has been used to treat migraine and other headaches. It has several actions that make it useful for treating migraine. First, it is an analgesic or pain reliever. Secondly, it blocks or reduces inflammation. This action is controlled in the body in part by a series of chemicals called prostaglandin. Aspirin blocks the ability of the body to manufacture these compounds. Thirdly, it reduces the ability of platelets to aggregate or stick together. The aggregation of platelets is important as it serves as the first step in the body's ability to stop bleeding. It also plays a role in migraine attacks and other processes. In migraine, platelets aggregate, causing them to release serotonin into the blood stream, which eventually leads to the vascular actions and other effects of migraine.

black-and-white-woman-girl-sitting It is well known that the patient having a mild tension headache, which can be relieved by aspirin, is rarely seen by the physician for this condition. However, if the headache occurs daily, is present when the patient awakens, remains for most of the day and has been occurring for months or even years, the patient becomes an important therapeutic problem. These are the patients seen by the practicing physician because of the continuous headache, which does not usually respond to the common analgesic drugs.