Typical over-the-counter remedies for headache include acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others). Resting in a darkened room may help.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a doctor immediately if:

  • Worse than usual
  • Sudden, severe onset
  • Confusion, slurred speech, fainting, one-sided numbness or paralysis, or trouble seeing, speaking, or walking
  • Fever higher than 102 F (39 C)
  • Nausea or vomiting

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a doctor if:

  • Headaches increase in frequency
  • Severity worsens over time
  • Interfering with work, sleep or daily activities
  • Self-treatment doesn't help