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Best Headache Medicine: Top 7 Picks To Consider

If you have ever struggled with a headache or have a headache right now, you know how debilitating they can be. Headaches of all types can make it extremely hard for one to carry out daily activities, focus, and feel confident at work. Headaches can show up for a variety of reasons, and while figuring out what is triggering your headache may be beneficial in preventing them, you probably want to know what you can do when a headache hits at that moment.

There are a lot of different headache medicines to choose from and choosing the best headache medicine highly depends on what is causing it.With all the different headache medications out there, it can be tricky trying to pick out the perfect one for you and your symptoms. Some medicines can work for numerous headaches while others are better suited for a specific type of headache.

If you are trying to figure out which headache medicine is the best, you are in the right place. After reading this article, you will know what headache medicine is, how it works, where you can get it, the ingredients in headache medicines, and the top 10 list of the best headache medicine. After reading this list, you will feel confident in choosing the best headache medicine for you and can start feeling better fast!

Comparison Table

Best Headache Medicine FAQ

person with tablt medicine and a gllass of water in hands

​Image Via Flickr

1. What is Headache Medicine?

2. What Does the Best Headache Medicine Do?

3. Where Can You Buy the Best Headache Medicine?

4. What Kind of Active Ingredients are in Headache Medicine?

5. What Types of Headaches Can Headache Medicine Relieve?

How We Reviewed

In order to create the best list possible, we took a look at all the most commonly used headache medications and reviewed them based on their effectiveness, types of headaches they relieve, and other symptoms they relieve in addition to your headache. We wanted there to be options for anyone in need of a headache reliever, so we included other options than just pill form. No matter what kind of headache you get, what symptoms are accompanying your headache, and whether or not you prefer pill form, there is something for you on this list.

What We Reviewed

  • Advil
  • Aleve
  • Tylenol
  • Bayer
  • Excedrin
  • Badger Balm
  • Goody’s Extra Strength Headache Powder

​Best Headache Medicine


Advil Tablets For Headache
  • One bottle of 100 Advil Pain Reliever and Fever Reducer Coated Tablets, Pain Relief Medicine with Ibuprofen 200mg for Headache, Backache, Menstrual Pain and Joint Pain Relief
  • Advil ibuprofen pain reliever and fever reducer for adults provides longer lasting relief than Tylenol Extra Strength, targets pain at the sight of inflammation, and new packaging features 20 percent less plastic to keep nearly 5,000 pounds of plastic out of landfills
  • Headache medicine, back pain medicine, joint pain medicine or minor arthritis pain reliever that also provides menstrual pain relief, as well as relief of muscle aches or aches and pains from the common cold


Key features of this product include its ability to reduce fevers as well as inflammation and swelling. Some other pain relievers can put you at risk if you go out in the sun, but Advil is safe to take if you plan on being outside. If you are someone who has a hard time taking medicine because of taste, reviewers have stated that this option is a better tasting alternative compared to some others.

Active Ingredients

  • Ibuprofen (200 mg)


  • Reduces inflammation and swelling that could cause your headache.
  • If you have a fever in addition to your headache, it will help reduce it.
  • Reviewers have mentioned that the taste isn’t bad like other pain relievers.


  • Repeated use could result in digestive issues.


Aleve Caplets, Naproxen Sodium 220 mg (NSAID), Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer, #1 Orthopedic Surgeon Recommended, 270 Count
  • Aleve is Proven Stronger* & Longer on Pain than Tylenol *Based on clinical data from the first six hours after initial dosing.
  • Just Two pills for all day pain relief. Each pill has the strength to last 12 hours.
  • Aleve is the #1 Orthopedic Surgeon Recommended OTC brand for minor arthritis pain.


Key features of this product include being one of the longest lasting pain relievers, claiming that one pill can last 4 hours longer than Advil. The oval pill capsules are small and easy to swallow, and you only need one. Aleve is also is a good option if you need to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Active Ingredients

  • Naproxen Sodium 220mg


  • Oval capsules are small and easy to swallow.
  • One of the longest lasting pain relievers.
  • Reduces inflammation and swelling to help relieve pain.


  • Could be unsafe to go outside while taking Aleve.


Tylenol Extra Strength Acetaminophen Rapid Release Gels, Pain Reliever & Fever Reducer Medicine, Gelcaps with Laser-Drilled Holes, 500 mg Acetaminophen, 225 ct(Packaging May Vary)
  • 225-count Tylenol Extra Strength Rapid Release Gels pain medicine with acetaminophen work fast to temporarily relieve minor aches and pains and help reduce fever
  • Each pain reliever gelcap features unique, laser-drilled holes to quickly release pain medicine and contains 500 mg of acetaminophen for fast, effective extra strength pain relief that works at the speed of life
  • Use as a fever reducer and to relieve minor aches and pains including headache, backache, toothache, menstrual and premenstrual cramps, minor pain of arthritis, and pain caused by the common cold


Key features of this product include its unique, tiny holes placed throughout each capsule in order to deliver the pain relief more quickly and 500 mg of acetaminophen for better pain relief. If you have a fever, Tylenol works to help reduce that as well.

Active Ingredients

  • Acetaminophen (500 mg)


  • Each capsule has tiny holes that quickly release medicine for faster pain relief.
  • Works as a fever reducer if a headache is accompanied by a fever.
  • Higher dose that allows for better pain relief.


  • Could damage the liver if you take too many capsules in a short amount of time or if accompanied by alcohol.


Bayer Aspirin Pain Reliever 325mg - 500 Tablets
  • Aspirin pain RELIVER/fever Reducer
  • Fast, safe pain relief
  • Plus the lifesaving benefits of aspirin


Key features of this product include its anti-inflammatory properties that relieve a mild to severe headache. Aspirin, the main active ingredient found in Bayer, is also known to reduce your risk of a heart attack, which is just an added benefit.

Active Ingredients

  • Aspirin (325 mg)


  • Relieves mild-to-moderate headache pain.
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties that help with headache relief.
  • Can also reduce your risk of a heart attack.


  • Will not work as effectively for a severe headache.


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Key features of this product include the powerful combination of two pain relievers and an amplifier that can deliver pain relief to even a severe headache. Many people have said they get pain relief in as little as just 15 minutes. The small amount of caffeine added will help those who have headaches such as migraines.

Active Ingredients

  • Acetaminophen (250 mg)
  • Aspirin (250 mg)
  • Caffeine (65 mg)


  • Provides headache relief in as little as 15 minutes.
  • With the combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine you get a more powerful headache relief.
  • Caffeine works as an amplifier for added effectiveness.


  • If you are sensitive to caffeine, this may not be the best option for you.


Badger - Headache Soother, Aromatherapy Balm Stick, Certified Organic, Headache Relief Aromatherapy Oil, Peppermint Eucalyptus & Lavender Essential Oils, Stress Relief, 0.6 oz
  • HEADACHE RELIEF AROMATHERAPY - This cooling temple rub is rich with soothing botanical extracts and including our favorite, super-concentrated Menthol Crystals: the essence of mint created by a freezing process.
  • LAVENDER & MENTHOL ESSENTIAL OILS - In traditional aromatherapy, Eucalyptus and Peppermint are stimulating and refreshing, Lavender supports balance and calm, and Mandarin is uplifting.
  • PORTABLE & CONVENIENT - This portable aromatherapy balm promotes calm and a sense of relaxed well-being, and helps to clear and cool sinuses.


Key features of this product include its convenient and portable container that brings aromatherapy on the go. This is a great option for those who suffer from mild-to-moderate headaches and want to take an all-natural approach.

Active Ingredients

  • Olive oil 
  • Castor oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Beeswax
  • Peppermint Leaf oils
  • Eucalyptus Leaf oils
  • Sunflower
  • Vitamin E
  • Mandarin Peel oil 
  • Sandalwood oil
  • Calendula Flower extract
  • Rosehip fruit extract


  • An all-natural alternative for headache relief.
  • USDA certified organic.
  • Portable and convenient aromatherapy you can take with you on the go.


  • May not be as effective for severe headaches.


Goody's Pain Relief Powders, Extra Strength Headache Powder Mixed Fruit Blast, 24 ct (Pack of 1)
  • Goody's Extra Strength Mixed Fruit Blast Headache Powder provides great-tasting temporary relief of minor aches and pains due to headaches, minor arthritis pain, colds, backaches, muscle aches, toothaches and menstrual cramps
  • Powder formula works fast to relieve pain
  • Contains 260 mg Acetaminophen, 500 mg Aspirin (NSAID) and 65 mg Caffeine


Key features of this product include its powder dissolve formula that works quickly to relieve pain and the different flavors you can opt for such as mixed fruit blast and orange. With two active ingredients and an amplifier, this is a powerful headache relief option that works especially well for those who prefer not to take medicine in a pill form.

Active Ingredients

  • Acetaminophen (325 mg)
  • Aspirin (500 mg)
  • Caffeine (65 mg)


  • Powder formula dissolves quickly and works fast to relieve pain.
  • Comes in mixed fruit blast and orange flavors for a better tasting medicine.
  • Fast, easy and convenient relief whenever you need it.


  • If you are sensitive to caffeine, this may not be the best option for you.

​The Verdict

woman working on laptop suffering with headache

Image Via Freepik

There are many types of headache medicines you can choose from if you struggle with headaches. Headache medicine typically comes over-the-counter and does not require a prescription from a doctor. Depending on what is triggering the headache, the best headache medicine for you may differ from the best headache medicine for someone who has a different type of headache or trigger.

If you are struggling with a tension headache, we highly recommend either Advil or Aleve for their powerful anti-inflammatory agents. If you have a headache that is accompanied by a fever, Tylenol would be a good option to relieve pain and reduce your fever. For more extreme headaches, we recommend Excedrin because of the powerful combination of pain relievers and its amplifier, caffeine. Excedrin is a popular choice for those who struggle with migraines.

If you get headaches frequently, you may have to try out a few different options in order to determine which is the best headache medicine for you. We are confident that you can find a great solution from our list of best headache medicines.

Featured Image via Pixabay

Last update on 2023-12-07 at 10:57 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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