Like migraines, rarely occurring episodes of tension headache should be stopped by symptomatic means, and more frequent episodes may require prophylactic therapy.
In general, drugs used for the symptomatic and prophylactic treatment of migraine are also effective for persistent tension headaches. For example, during clinical trials, sumatriptan and rizatriptan showed their effectiveness in relation to not only migraine attacks, but also low and high intensity tension headaches.
However, since tension headaches are characterized by less intensity, the prescription of analgesics is considered optimal. Episodes of tension headaches can be frequent and require the use of prophylactic treatment, which (with the exception of valproate) is equally effective in both migraine and tension headaches.