Need advise! Having bad headache - what should I take for it

Hi all,

I need a little advice. I know many of you here are dealing with headaches along with the dizziness and other MAV symtoms. Up until recently, I thankfully had very infrequent headaches. The ones I did have were just general headaches, without a lot of pain, that I would get before I even had MAV, kind of when you had a long day working at the computer or reading. However, now things have changed. For the past 3 days, I have had a painful headache in the back of my lower skull. I would classify it as a tension headache. I’ve been taking some OTC meds (ibruprofin and x-strength Tyelenol) which help somewhat. I’ve never experienced a continous headache like this and wondered if anyone here has and what you did about it? My neck muscles feel a little tight, but not too bad. The pain is in the lower back of my head, on both sides. My other MAV symptoms which I have daily seem to be the same (light sensitivity, wooziness, fatigue, etc.) I normally don’t take a lot of OTC headache meds now unless I really need them, for I don’t want to have any rebound headaches. I put an ice pack on the back of my head last night and got more sleep, but I still don’t feel better. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated! Oh and btw, no, I haven’t started any new meds lately, nor can I trace a trigger for this headache, and it is not my time of the month. I don’t know if I need a prescribed med for this or just tough it out for a while with the OTC meds as noted above, for as I said, I usually don’t have headache issues with the MAV (at least not to this extent.)

Thanks! ~Bonnie

I was going to say ibuprofen, but I guess that’s out, so I’m not sure. If NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin etc.) and paracetamol (tylenol) don’t work, then I’m not sure there’s much else medication-wise (without a prescription, as you said).
Also (again as you said :)) please avoid OTC painkillers as far as possible. I’m stuck on them in rebound now, and it sucks. A lot. And I have no idea how to come off.

Well I am trying ibuprofin, as I just read for tension headaches, it is better than Tylenol. I am taking the least amount of dose (right now just 2 pills 400 mg total) and will see what happens. I then will take more in about 4 hours if I can make it. I find this very weird and troublesome, for as I mentioned, I haven’t ever had a continuous headache. Thanks and I look forward to more responses.

I know this sounds strange but my pharmacist told me to try Arthritis Tylenol when i was having my cluster migraines last year. Extra strength tylenol has 500 mg of acetaminophen I believe, the arthritis tylenol is time release and the only active ingredient is 650 mg of acetaminophen. It is stronger than extra strength tylenol. It really helped. It is a bit more expensive than the other tylenol, but worth it.


When I get the pain in the back of the neck area I keep the ice pack on 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. I have the ones that I always keep in my freezer so if I need it they are already ready and cold. Plus I get someone to massage that area of my neck to try and relieve the tension. Aspirin works best for me but we are all different.

I had a really bad one about a month ago , first time in a very long time, and I took the medication I used to take for migrainges only a very small dose and it was gone with in half hour. Relplax is what I took but it is prescription.

I also have a hand held massager that helps when this happens. Here is a picture but I got mine at Walmart for about 30.00.

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I used to get them in the back of the head and they lasted 3 days. It was often before or after these that I got the severe vertigo attacks, so I like to knock them on the head (so to speak) as soon as they start, so I do take painkillers. What works for me is veganin (paracetamol, codiene and caffeine). Yes I am probably stuck in a rebound situation now, after years of severe migraines and many painkillers. I tried 3 weeks ago to come off the caffeine and codeine and got myself in such a bad cycle of vertigo that I went back to it.

I am going to be trying a preventative soon, but not giving up on the painkillers beforehand, it is too difficult for me. I just end up in a complete mess.

Well here is the dilemma - they say you can take ibuprofin or similar OTC meds for a few days, but really shouldn’t for more than 4 days continuously. When I researched if I should take a prescription med, the ones they suggested were anti-depressants and anti-convulsants. I’m already on both of these! (Klonopin and Tofranil). So this is problematic. I am really hoping that in a day or so it will go away, but if not, then what (besides calling my doc)?? This headache is already out of the ordinary in that it is not something that I deal with 24/7 like my other MAV symptoms; this is my first multi-day headache and it isn’t even a migraine!

I would call the doctor to see what they recommend. Do you think something triggered this headache, ie food or some other trigger.

Could you possibly have a neck issue going on in addition to the MAV, if so so I wonder if you could take a steroid medication to help with the inflammation.