Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Supplements for Migraines

Dear Dr. Walt,

Do any supplements help with migraines?

—Headachy in Kentucky

Dear Throbby,

According to my friends at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database:

Butterbur, feverfew, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, and magnesium look promising for migraine prevention. These are safe supplements when used appropriately. They are worth considering for patients who don’t respond to conventional approaches. In some cases, they may be worth considering as add-on therapy.

But, there are risks and caveats for each one of these. For example, feverfew is not appropriate for people with allergies to ragweed or related plants as it is in this same family and might cause a cross-sensitivity reaction.

Also, not all butterbur commercial products are the same. I suggest folks stick with the product used in the clinical trials, Petadolex®. It’s simply not known if other formulations have the same effects and this particular product is a pyrrolizidine-free extract.

Some butterbur products contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are carcinogenic and can cause liver and kidney damage. So, be sure to do your homework before trying one of them out. You can also discuss these options with your personal pharmacist.

Dr. Walt

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2018. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.
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