Magnesium, Vitamins and Herbal Preparations

Reference work entry


Headache patients frequently seek alternatives to traditional acute and preventative treatments, given the side effects often associated with conventional medications. In this chapter, the available evidence for the use of magnesium, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), riboflavin, butterbur, feverfew, and alpha lipoic acid in migraine prevention are reviewed. Areas of ongoing research, particularly in pharmacogenetics, are also discussed. Although further research with large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is necessary to better clarify the efficacy of these vitamins, supplements, and herbal preparations, we recommend the consideration of oral magnesium supplementation in migraineurs in whom there is clinical suspicion of magnesium deficiency, given its safety and tolerability. Butterbur is also recommended for migraine prophylaxis given the positive results from two randomized controlled trials. Though the clinical efficacy data for feverfew, CoQ10, riboflavin, and alpha lipoic acid are equivocal, these substances may also be considered in patients who express an interest in alternative treatments.


Migraine Attack Migraine With Aura Cortical Spreading Depression Magnesium Deficiency Herbal Preparation 
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© Lifting The Burden 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York Headache CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Clinical NeurosciencesCentre for Clinical Neurosciences and Neurological Research, St Vincent’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia

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