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How Do I Choose the Best Aspirin for Headaches?

Aspirin can be taken in powdered form.
A man with a headache.
Regular-dose aspirin, which usually contains about 275 mg to 650 mg of the drug, is best for treating headaches.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2014
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Commonly used as a pain reliever and fever reducer, aspirin is one of the most popular over-the-counter pain medications. Since a low-dose aspirin will not usually relieve headache pain, a high-dose aspirin is usually recommended. Aspirin for headaches also comes in a number of forms, including chewable forms, powdered forms, and tablets. Coated tablets are usually recommended to help prevent gastrointestinal problems, like ulcers.

Aspirin is classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and it is one of the most common and popular over-the-counter pain medications. This medication can also be used as a fever reducer and anti-inflammatory. Choosing the right aspirin for headaches generally depends on a person's needs.

This drug comes in a couple doses. Low-dose aspirin is typically around 81 mg, and it is not considered the best type of aspirin for headaches, since it is not strong enough. Instead, many doctors advise their patients to take one low-dose aspirin each day to help lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

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Regular-dose aspirin, on the other hand, typically contains doses of around 275 mg to 650 mg. These are usually the best aspirin for headaches. A person would only have to use one or two of these aspirin for headaches, instead of six or eight. Many medical experts warn their patients not to take more than the recommended dose of aspirin for a headache, since a high dose will usually not work any better than the recommended dose. Some studies have also shown that regularly taking high doses of aspirin can cause headaches to come back frequently.

Aspirin also comes in a few forms. Chewable aspirin is usually pleasantly flavored, and it usually works quickly to relieve headache pain. Powdered aspirin is also available, and this is usually dumped on the tongue and swallowed or mixed in with a drink. Although it does usually work at relieving headache pain faster than other forms, the taste of powdered aspirin may not be tolerated by everyone.

The most common form of aspirin is the tablet, or pill. These are usually swallowed whole, and they dissolve in the stomach before being absorbed into the blood stream. Doctors usually recommend coated aspirin for headaches, since it is not as harsh on the stomach lining as uncoated aspirin. Taking too much uncoated aspirin can slowly erode the lining of the stomach, resulting in serious medical conditions, like ulcers.

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