Try this: Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or combination products that contain acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine (such as Excedrin extra Strength, Excedrin Migraine, and generic).
Why? Studies have found that those drugs help many people with migraines, especially if they're infrequent. If you think you have migraines—even if the drugs ease your pain—you should see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
If you suffer from moderate to severe migraines or average more than two migraines a month, you might do better with prescription drugs called triptans. Our top pick is generic sumatriptan, even though it's still fairly pricey, around $24 a pill. A few important warnings: Because triptans temporarily narrow blood vessels, they can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke and should not be taken by women older than 50 or men older than 40, people with an elevated risk of heart attack or stroke, diabetics, smokers, or those with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Also, overuse can cause rebound headaches. Skip opioid-based pain relievers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, which rarely work well on migraines and have their own risks.
Prevention tip. Work with your doctor to identify your triggers. Common ones include some cheeses; food additives such as MSG; alcohol; caffeine in coffee, chocolate, and tea; dehydration; getting too little or too much sleep; certain loud noises, lights, or odors; high altitudes; menstruation; plane rides and jet lag; skipping meals; and stress.