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Is ibuprofen an effective treatment for a headache?

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Quick Answer

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, ibuprofen can be an effective treatment for migraines and tension headaches. Some may find greater relief when caffeine and ibuprofen are taken together, especially if taken for a tension headache.

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Full Answer

Ibuprofen is most effective against mild to moderate migraines. Healthy adults suffering from migraines generally feel better after taking between 200 and 400 milligrams of ibuprofen at a time, states the National Institutes of Health. The maximum safe dosage of the drug should not exceed 1,200 milligrams per day.

For tension headaches, studies show that ibuprofen taken with caffeine is more effective than ibuprofen alone or caffeine alone.

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