Headaches - GPDQ
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Most headaches will go away on their own and are not a sign of something more serious. Headaches can last between 30 minutes and 1 hour


Common Symptoms

  • Pain in your head

Treatment at home

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get plenty of rest if you have a cold or the flu
  • Try to relax – stress can make headaches worse
  • Exercise when you can
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen

When should I book a GP?

  • Your headache keeps coming back
  • Painkillers do not help, and your headache gets worse
  • You have a bad throbbing pain at the front or side of your head – this could be a migraine
  • You feel sick, vomit and find light or noise painful
  • You get other symptoms – for example, your arms or legs feel numb or weak
  • You suffer unexplained weight loss
  • You have any visual symptoms


Seek emergency care from 111 or 999 if:

  • You injured your head badly – e.g., from a fall
  • The headache came on suddenly and is extremely painful
  • Sudden problems speaking or remembering things
  • Loss of vision
  • You’re drowsy or confused
  • You have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery and have a stiff neck or rash
  • The white part of your eye is red
  • Your jaw hurts when eating
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Your scalp feels sore
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