Drugs that target pain at different levels can allow the caregiver to customize treatment according to the patient's specific needs. This is possible with combining analgesics" drugs.
Pain in general (headache in particular) is characterized by a change in the activity of brain leading to pain processing. The challenge is to zero down drugs with molecular targets that restore the healthy state and result in lasting pain relief.
Advertisement"Pain matrix", a network of brain areas, is involved in pain perception and its control. This diversification of the pain perception and exhibition explains why a broader range of molecularly different substances can be used for the treatment of different pain conditions and why in more recently several studies have described a much better efficacy of a precise multi-target combination therapy as compared to mono-therapy.
Dr. Andreas Straube from University of Munich probed for the evidences which support combination therapy in the pharmacotherapy of pain, particularly in headaches. For the study, fixed-dose combination of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), paracetamol (acetaminophen), and caffeine was reviewed. The huge advantage of using such a fixed combination is that the active ingredients act on different but distinct molecular targets. This enables them to act on more signaling cascades involved in pain.
It was obvious from the study that what one drug - acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), paracetamol (acetaminophen), and caffeine could not achieve on its own could be achieved when they were combined. Principal Author of the study, Dr. Andreas Straube concluded by stating, "After the study, here is substantial clinical evidence that a multi-component therapy is definitely more effective than mono-component therapies as it boosts their effectiveness for pain relief."