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How to get rid of a headache?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Headaches are incredibly common and can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain. Almost everyone experiences them at some point. While some headaches are easily managed, others may need a little extra help to get rid of.

If you have a headache, don’t wait to see your doctor. Book an online consultation with a pharmacist to get the care and treatment you need.

How to get rid of a headache fast?

When you get a headache, there’s usually only one thing you want: to get rid of it quickly.

Here’s some tips on how to get better faster: 

  • Drink plenty of water: dehydration is a common trigger for headaches, so make sure to sip water throughout the day. Adding electrolytes to your water can also be beneficial.
  • Relax as much as possible: deep breathing exercises or practising yoga can promote relaxation and reduce tension in the muscles, which may help ease headache discomfort. Take slow, deep breaths and focus on calming your mind to relieve headache-related stress.
  • Use a cold or warm compress to relieve pain: a cold compress helps numb the area and constrict blood vessels, while a warm compress can relax tense muscles and improve blood flow. Experiment with both to see which provides the most relief for your headache.
  • Massage your pressure points: try massaging your temples, the base of the skull, and the area between the thumb and forefinger. Apply gentle pressure and massage these points in a circular motion to help release tension and promote relaxation.
  • Turn down the lights: close curtains or blinds to reduce natural light, and avoid staring at screens or bright artificial lights. This can help ease eye strain and minimise headache discomfort.
  • Use a low-strength painkiller like paracetamol or ibuprofen: always follow the recommended dosage and consult your pharmacist if needed.

Frequently asked questions about headaches

How to get rid of a hangover headache?

To get rid of a hangover headache, hydrate with water, eat a balanced meal, and rest. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

How to get rid of a tension headache?

To relieve a tension headache, try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, gentle neck stretches, and applying a warm compress. Over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen may also help.

How to get rid of a low iron headache?

Increase the amount of iron-rich foods in your diet, such as red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and fortified cereals. Additionally, consider taking iron supplements under the guidance of your pharmacist to replenish iron levels in the body.

A man pinches his forehead in pain caused by a migraine

Do you have a headache?

Don’t wait for a GP appointment.

Get advice & prescriptions from a trusted pharmacy now:
Complete an easy online questionnaire
Book a free video consultation with a pharmacist
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What is Pharmacy First?

Pharmacy First is a new NHS-funded scheme that helps you quickly get the advice & treatment you need from a pharmacy, without needing to see a GP.

The conditions covered by Pharmacy First are:

Video consultations & advice are free of charge. If you pay for prescriptions you will be charged the prescription rate of £9.65 per prescription item.