Headache Quadrifecta

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The Headache Quadrifecta is the name of a treatment for headaches, which is probably the most potent nonprescription treatment for them available (with some notable points, mentioned in this article).

The "quadrifecta" effectively consists of the Painkiller 'Grand Slam', plus caffeine:

  1. Acetaminophen / paracetamol (Tylenol)
  2. An NSAID painkiller, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), or aspirin
  3. An opioid painkiller, such as codeine or kratom
  4. Caffeine

Note that finding an opioid painkiller without a prescription may be difficult in the US, where kratom is legal (but not commonly sold) and codeine is no longer sold. Various over-the-counter products with codeine do exist, however, in Canada, Mexico, Australia, and much of Europe.



Cannabis can sometimes be added to this cocktail, and doing so is considered safe. However, seeing as cannabis is not legal in the United States, it is not included as part of this recommendation. Cannabis, in higher doses, will also cause a greater level of impairment.

Cluster headaches[edit]

For cluster headaches, other treatments are more effective at relieving pain. Most notably, triptans are able to abort cluster headaches, and psilocybin mushrooms ("magic mushrooms" or "shrooms") are also effective.