Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Counter Supplements to Prevent Migraine

Over-the-counter (OTC) supplements use in headaches, migraines, and fibromyalgia can be controversial, especially since they are not rigorously tested like prescription drugs. Nevertheless, there is a good deal of science behind some OTC supplements. I have my favorites that I like to recommend, and I will give them to you. Bear in mind, these are my recommendations as of today. As the science supporting supplements changes, my recommendations will change. An excellent example is Vitamin E and Beta Carotene. Both were highly recommended in the 1990’s, but now problems with both have been found. Currently I recommend neither beyond the amount of each that is found in a regular multivitamin.

Over the Counter Supplements
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 200-250 mg twice a day
Magnesium Capsules 250 mg two to three times a day (remember Milk of Magnesia is a form of magnesium and MOM is used to treat constipation; therefore, if you develop loose stools from taking a form of magnesium, you may need to reduce your dosage of magnesium capsules)
Feverfew 100 mg a day
--or-- Migrelief one pill twice a day is a good source of B2, Magnesium, and Feverfew.
--and add-- Co Q 10 150 mg two daily to above supplements
I have not started recommending Butterbur; however, there is science supporting its use. I do not usually recommend Omega-3 fish oil for migraineurs. Diabetic and metabolic syndrome patients can use 3000 mg of fish oil to help lower triglycerides, raise HDL cholesterol, and decrease clotting—all of which are very important in reducing cardiovascular complication. This is Dr. Castelli’s recommendation. He has been a world authority on cardiac risk factors, and I have great respect for him. For about 30 years, he was the medical director for the Framingham Heart Study looking at long-term risk factors.
I recommend avoiding ephedrine products because of side effects which may include headache, palpitations, heart attack, and worse. Products containing ephedrine are Chinese ephedra, ma huang, and epitonin. Neither do I recommend Ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo mixed with certain foods or beverages can raise your blood pressure.

Prevention of migraines is very important. Continued migraine activity can lead to fibromyalgia, neck pain, sinus pain, TMJ syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, chest pain, palpitations, and panic attacks.