Monday, December 12, 2011

Caffeine for headache/migraine relief

Okay so something many people don't know. Caffeine can relieve a headache or migraine. The reason behind this is that many pain reliever medication has caffeine in it.

What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a commonly used drug that increases alertness, decreases fatigue, and improves muscle coordination. Though coffee comes to mind as the most common source of caffeine, it's also naturally found in tea and chocolate, and it is often added to soft drinks and non-prescription drugs like pain-relievers and cold remedies. People vary in their sensitivity to caffeine. If used excessively, caffeine can be too stimulating and cause anxiety, sleep problems, muscle twitching, or abdominal pain.

 How does caffeine treat headaches?
Caffeine is a common ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter headache medications (see list below). Caffeine additives make pain relievers 40% more effective in treating headaches. Caffeine also helps the body absorb headache drugs more quickly, bringing faster relief. By adding caffeine and, in turn, taking less medication, you can reduce the risk for potential side effects and possible drug addiction.

Common Over-The-Counter Drugs Containing Caffeine
Drug Name Caffeine Content
Actamin Super
65.4 mg.
Anacin Maximum Strength
32 mg.
Anacin Tablets and Caplets
32 mg.
Aspirin-Free Excedrin Caplets
65 mg.
Bayer Select Maximum Strength Headache Pain Relief
65.4 mg.
Dristan Capsules
16 mg.
Excedrin Caplets
65 mg.
Excedrin Caplets Extra Strength
65 mg.
Excedrin Extra Strength Caplets and Tablets
65 mg.
Goody's Extra Strength Tablets
16.25 mg.
Goody's Headache Powder
32.5 mg.
Midol Menstrual Maximum Strength Caplets
60 mg.
Midol for Cramps Maximum Strength Caplets
32.4 mg.
NoDoz100 mg.
32.4 mg.
Pain Reliever Tablets
65 mg.
Vanquish Caplets
33 mg.
200 mg.

Other Caffeine Sources
  • Chocolate milk, chocolate milkshakes, hot chocolate, and chocolate drinks
  • Cocoa mix, malt powder, chocolate flavoring
  • Cola and other sodas, like Mountain Dew or Surge (regular and diet)
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Chocolate or coffee liqueurs
NOTE: caffeine-free and decaffeinated beverages also contain small amounts of caffeine.
  • All chocolate products including brownies, cake, and ├ęclairs
  • Chocolate candy including fudge and chocolate-covered coconut,
    raisins, and peanuts
  • Chocolate-covered graham crackers (or chocolate-flavored graham crackers)
  • Chocolate ice cream or pudding
Source: FDA's Center for Drugs and Biologics.

 So today, I thought I would put this to the test. I woke up with a MASSIVE migraine. I had a huge knot in my neck that was causing my whole entire head to throb. I sat and tried to rub out the knot myself but didn't go anywhere. So my next step was to just relieve the pain till I could do something about it. So what I did, was I took 2 extra strength Excedrin, and an energy drink with 160mg of caffeine. And I kid you not, within 10 minutes the headache was gone! Now I can still feel the knot with my hand so I know that the knot didn't just disappear. But with the "overdose" of caffeine and a little pain reliever, the migraine is gone. Now I've always heard about this method and never really believed it. So what I did was did a little research and it really made sense with the information I provided above.


  1. Most migraine medicine is just caffeine. And most headaches are caffeine withdrawal.

  2. great info, thanks

  3. Caffeine in tea? Didn't knew about that :/

  4. Good post! One of the biggest things that helps my migraines is caffeine.

  5. So caffeine work for everyone not just for me, good to know.

  6. It didn't work for me :(

  7. my mom used to give me mountain dew when i was little lol