Taking Multiple Migraine Supplements: Is it Effective? Is it Safe?
If taking one natural supplement helps prevent migraines, will taking two, or three, or even four help even more? Not necessarily! In fact, mixing certain supplements might end up doing more harm than good.
Let’s start with what doctors know works
Doctors generally agree that only a handful of herbs and nutrients have demonstrated the safety track record and the clinically studied effectiveness to be recommended for migraine prevention:
- Butterbur (patented petasites extract)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
That is because these specific supplements have undergone decades of rigorous, high-quality clinical studies. Both the type of supplement and the amount to take have been researched. That is also why we emphasize these supplements in our newsletter.
If you’re thinking of taking multiple migraine supplements, start here
We know that it is safe and effective to combine riboflavin (B2), magnesium and CoQ10. We also know that (under a doctor’s guidance) migraine patients sometimes benefit by combining these specific dietary supplements with the patented, PA-free form of butterbur extract.
We know this because these combinations of specific dietary and herbal supplements have been studied in terms of safety when used together and when used with over-the-counter and prescription medications. Other herbal and dietary supplements have not.
From fish oil and Vitamin E, to antioxidants like taurine and turmeric, many supplements receive buzz as being helpful for migraines. These claims, however, are not supported by clinical evidence. Various supplements may be beneficial for certain people, but for other people—and at certain potency—they may be downright dangerous.
Ginger, for example, is a common and seemingly harmless spice that some people claim “fights migraines.” True, ginger has a small amount of antihistamine and anti-inflammatory action that may be of benefit. And yes, a 2005 study did find a ginger/feverfew derivative helpful for acute migraine, not migraine prevention. A similar 2011 study also showed ginger was helpful in treating nausea accompanying migraine attacks.
While ginger tea might calm your stomach during a migraine episode, higher amounts can interact with OTC and RX medicines to cause bleeding, lower blood pressure and irregular heartbeat.
Stick with supplements doctors already trust. If you want to try multiple supplements, do it only with supplements known to combine safely with each other—and with other medications. Always take the recommended amounts.
(back to the top)