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Sinus headache, migraine. Want an OTC medication which does not cause drowsiness

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 5145 Questions
I have a sinus headache often, it turns to migraines but I was wondering what kind of over the counter should I get? I want it to be non drowsy and maybe 12 hours or 24 hours. I don't really want to take the medication for every 4 hours. What else can I do about the sinuses? I went into surgery last year for cleaning sinuses but I still have it.
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 3 hours later
Hi there.

Usually sinus headaches occur because there is a block t the flow of the sinus fluid into the nose and throat. Because of this the fluid accumulates into the sinus and gets infected and causes headache and sometimes fever as well.

The most effective medical therapy will be steam inhalation as this helps to remove the block and facilitate good hydration and moisturization of your sinuses.

You can apply nasal drops (2 drops in each nostril for twice a day), with Xylometazoline as the content as this drug is known to reduce swelling and blockage in the nose and help clear and clean up the sinuses which will reduce the headache significantly. Do take this medication only under medical supervision. If you have high blood pressure it would be best to avoid this medication.

You can also take an Acetaminophen tablet 1000mg orally every 12 hours for relief from the pain of the headache, under medical supervision.

Eat a well balanced diet. Keep well hydrated. Exercise daily. Sleep for 6-8 hours daily. Do Yoga for stress relief. All these measures strengthen the immune system and help fight infection more strongly.

Avoid junk food, smoking, going near air-polluted areas as well.

You may also require an antibiotic to clear the infection. Commonly Doctors prescribe a broad spectrum antibiotic like Cloxacillin and Dicloxacillin, but it would be wise to consult your ENT Doctor for the best antibiotic for your cure. Surgical treatment is required depending on the cause for the sinusitis, for example if there is a permanent block t the sinus openings like a deviated nasal septum. In such cases, a surgical cure can nearly guarantee symptom free issues after surgery.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.

Wishing speedy recovery.


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