Migraine: The Future of Migraine Therapy (cont.)

She recommends magnesium "more than other supplements, and have found it to have the most robust effect in preventing migraines," she says. "I advise vitamin B-2 if a patient has a predisposition to diarrhea." Some supplements combine magnesium, vitamin B-2, and the herb feverfew. Coenzyme Q10, which the body produces naturally, has also been shown to cut migraine attacks, but it's pricier than the others, she adds.

You have to take magnesium for three months to get a benefit, says DeRossett. "People sometimes give up on it too soon." Taking the correct dosage is important as well: 500 mg magnesium, 400 mg riboflavin (vitamin B-2), and 150 mg coenzyme Q10.

The herb butterbur can also help prevent migraine attacks, she adds. A recent study found that a daily 75 mg butterbur supplement cut migraine frequency by more than 50%.

"Our patients are on all kinds of high-powered migraine headache medications," DeRossett tells WebMD. "These [magnesium, etc.] aren't in the same ballpark as Depakote or Topamax. But for some people, magnesium might be enough. For others, it might provide added benefit in terms of relief."

Published April 2005.

SOURCES: Stephen Silberstein, MD, professor of neurology; director, Thomas Jefferson University Headache Center, Philadelphia. Seymour Solomon, MD, director, Montefiore Headache Unit, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. Sarah DeRossett, MD, neurologist and migraine specialist, Atlanta. American Council for Headache Education. WebMD Medical News: "Super-Sensitive Nerves Play Key Role in Migraine Pain." WebMD Medical News: "Taking the Pain Out of Migraine Treatment." WebMD Medical News: "Epilepsy May Reduce Daily Headaches." WebMD Medical News: "Hope for Preventing Menstrual Migraine." WebMD Medical News: "Menstrual Migraines May Be Preventable." WebMD Medical News: "The Many Faces of Botox:"

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