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The pain is different for everyone

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Headaches can feel different for everyone. But even though there are many kinds, headaches can be grouped into two main categories: primary and secondary. Read on to learn more about each.

What are the types of headaches?

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Primary headaches can be caused by a combination of temporary changes in the brain chemistry, nerves, blood vessels and muscles in and around your head and neck. You don’t have to have a cold or the flu to get a primary headache.

A secondary headache can be blamed on something else, like the flu. Whatever illness you’re suffering from may be triggering the pain-sensitive nerves that are in and around your head.

Secondary headaches can sometimes point to a more serious, underlying illness. See When Should I Call My Doctor to see if you need medical help.

How to help relieve a headache

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To relieve your headache quickly, you can reach for an over-the-counter solution, like acetaminophen.

If you get a lot of headaches or find that over-the-counter medicine doesn’t work, you should talk to your doctor.

If you suffer from a type of primary headache, there are things you can do to prevent future headaches. Talk with your doctor before setting a preventative plan. Your doctor will be able to make specific recommendations based on your individual needs.

Some simple preventative measures include:

  • Following a regular schedule
    • Eating, sleeping, and rising at the same time
  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoiding stress

How Mucinex® products can help

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Secondary headaches happen because of an illness, like a cold or the flu. So you probably have other symptoms along with your headache.

Several Mucinex® products use acetaminophen, which is an analgesic and fever reducer. “Analgesic” is a fancy way of saying “pain killer.” Acetaminophen should help relieve your headache and bring down your fever, as well as deal with pain from colds and sore throats.

Keep in mind that some Mucinex products combine acetaminophen with other medicines. Many Mucinex products treat multiple symptoms rather than just headache alone. Acetaminophen can be dangerous if you ingest too much. Be sure to read labels carefully to ensure you’re not taking more than the maximum recommended dosage.

You can learn more about acetaminophen overdosing at the U.S. National Library of Medicine here.

Use as directed.


When Should I Call My Doctor?

Headaches are common, but sometimes they can point to a more serious medical concern. Seek medical attention right away if you notice any of the following things:

  1. If your headache is accompanied by nausea or vomiting
  2. If you develop new symptoms
  3. If you develop a skin reaction or rash
  4. If your symptoms do not improve with over-the-counter medication

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acetaminophen overdose

If you think you're overdosing on acetaminophen or any other medication, seek emergency care or call your local poison control center at 800-222-1222.

If you can, try to remember the product(s) you took and its strength. This information will help your doctor.