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The most common cause of headaches is tension or stress, something we all have from time to time. Medications, including anti-HIV drugs, can cause them, too.

Headaches usually can be taken care of with drugs you can buy without a prescription, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You can also help to prevent future headaches by reducing stress.

Quick Tips: Headaches

For on-the-spot headache relief, try some of these suggestions:

  • Lie down and rest in a quiet, dark room.
  • Take a hot, relaxing bath.
  • Give yourself a "scalp massage"--massage the base of your skull with your thumbs and massage both temples gently.
  • Check with your doctor about taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil).

To prevent headaches from happening again, try the following:

  • Avoid things that can cause headaches, like chocolate, red wine, onions, hard cheese, and caffeine.
  • Reduce your stress level.
  • Drink 8 to 12 glasses of water per day.