Migraine and Herbal Products

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Kurt, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. Kurt

    Kurt New Member

    Herbal Products May Interfere with Migraine Drugs
    Thu Jun 19, 1:36 PM ET Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!

    By Alan Mozes

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Commonly prescribed migraine medications can potentially be rendered ineffective or even toxic when taken along with certain popular herbal supplements, according to researchers.

    In addition, their study found that some supplements -- including ginkgo biloba, ginseng, St. John's wort and valerian root -- might actually trigger or worsen migraines in some people prone to them.

    The findings are being presented this week at the American Headache Society's annual meeting in Chicago.

    According to the researchers, migraine medications in the triptan class of drugs and tricyclic antidepressants -- which are used to prevent migraines in some people -- can interact with supplements such as gingko biloba, ginseng, echinacea (news - web sites) and St. John's wort.

    The herbs can interfere with the liver enzymes that metabolize these drugs and potentially make them toxic, they say.

    "In the U.S. herbal products are not standardized or regulated by the FDA (news - web sites) (Food and Drug Administration)," said study author Dr. Carla Rubingh of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. "People see them as all-natural ... and are not informing their physicians that they are taking them."

    "But just because (manufacturers) say the herbs are all-natural or from plants doesn't mean that they are without side effects or drug interactions," Rubingh told Reuters Health.

    "These supplements need to be recognized as medications," she said. "Patients need to tell their physicians they are taking them, and physicians need to ask if they are taking them and know how they might interact with medications."

    Rubingh and her colleagues also caution that some herbal supplements -- often taken in the hopes of boosting memory and energy or to alleviate colds and depression -- could help trigger or worsen both migraines and so-called cluster headaches among people predisposed to them.

    Migraines typically involve severe pain on one or both sides of the head, sometimes accompanied by nausea, loss of appetite and blurred vision. Cluster headaches are marked by sudden, severe pain, often centered in one eye; these headaches come in waves, typically with several pain-free weeks in between.

    For their study, Rubingh and her colleagues used data from the FDA and other sources to rank the top-selling herbal products in the U.S. They then reviewed past research on the herbs, looking particularly at the products' mechanisms of action and possible side effects to see how they might interact with migraine drugs or contribute to headaches.

    For example, they explain, one mechanism of ginkgo is to boost blood flow to the brain, which might worsen migraine or cluster headaches in some people.

    Speaking during a telephone press conference this week, Rubingh focused on the potentially large number of patients who should be concerned about such potential drug-supplement interactions.

    She noted that an estimated 30 million American men and women suffer from migraine headaches, while about 2.5 million experience cluster headaches.

    And although the exact percentage of migraine and cluster-headache patients who take herbal supplements is not clear, Rubingh said the overlap is probably substantial since an estimated 40 percent of Americans have taken herbal supplements at some point.

    "So if I could tell people one thing," she said, "it would be that these patients do need to let their physician and their pharmacists know that they are taking these supplements."

  2. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    Drugs by using a herbal product, namely Olive Leaf Extract..I was one of the people who has gone through all of the Headache Clinics (staffed by neurologists) solutions for migraines, and instead found much better treatment with an herbal..OLE..It has, now, apparently completely stopped the need for the IMITREX, AND PREVENTATIVE MEASURES..AND I WAS CONSIDERED A CLASSIC CASE OF MIGRAINE...
  3. kaths

    kaths New Member


    How much OLE did you take to eliminate migraines? My doctor is nationally recognized as a migraine expert and is stymied by my migraines. We have tried everything from the triptans and ergotamines to lidocaine nose spray to Botox shots.

    I'm taking 1,000 to 2,000 mg OLE right now, hoping to end sinus infections and allergies.

    Thanks for the info,
  4. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    It is not so much the OLE dosage, as it was the control that was established over the pathogenic load I had..For me, once I got my sinus problems rectified and really controlled by the OLE, this is when the migraines stopped, completely, for me..no longer need any of that expensive migraine treatments and preventative measures...I see my migraines as part of these DDs..did not develop these headaches until this disease process started..

    If you compare this to Mikie's and Jelly's improvement in the migraine arena, it was a similar process with the OLE...their migraines stopped, too, after treatment with the ABX...Well, OLE fights the critters, too, but additionally it fights funguses, too..Mayo Clinic now indicates that chronic sinusitis is due to fungal causation..I am really drowsy, and must go to sleep..don't know whether I have answered your question, completely.will have to evaluate, tomorrow.

  5. kaths

    kaths New Member

    Yes, I tried a preventive combination of feverfew, magnesium and B-6 for six months and still had daily migraines. I am so discouraged.

  6. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    Feverfew and none of other treatments ever really prevented my migraines..This is the only solution that has ever really worked for me..Talk with Lucky, or some of the others about OLE and I think you will see that they are very satisfied with it..But, if not, PatPalmer indicates the Cytolog is very effective, too, for Sinus symptoms..Do you know what is triggering your migraines?
  7. kaths

    kaths New Member

    chocolate, Nutrasweet, red wine, fragrances of almost any kind -- all of which I try to avoid.

    My acupuncturist knows now not to put any needles on normal migraine relief points because they just make it worse. Mostly, he works on my sinuses and immune system -- symptoms of damp heat.

    So far this week I've been sugar- and white-flour, -rice and -potato-free, which I hope will help many things, including my CFIDS fatigue.

    Thanks for your input,
  8. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    Olive Leaf Extract or OLE has been such a worthwhile product for me and others...I know that it directly decreases the sinus/allergy-induced headaches plus all the mucus buildup/blockage of sinuses that I was experiencing.. Do you have all those sinus symptoms? ..and I was also very allergic to fragrances, especially from flowers..

    I feel like it indirectly stops or majorally reduces headaches as it works so similar to the ABX therapy, by disposing of many of the bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses..Fungal causation of chronic sinusitis has been found to be a major contributor by the Mayo Clinic..

    So, I feel that there are no downsides to its use..very safe..and this is the results that happended as I said for others, too..Besides this, I have had many other benefits..It is low cost and has helped me more than any of the expensive therapies I have used from physicians..

  9. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I took OLE for 2 1/2 months once at what my Naturopath said were maximum dosages, but got no results. I am writing down these large dosages,and as soon as I am done experimenting with Guai (which is not working at all for me), I will try OLE again at higher dosage, since I do have the bloodwork pattern of someone with a viral load.
    Thanks for the info,

    BTW, menopause eliminated my migraines completely, so hang on, relief may be coming.
  10. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    For this info----I will check my supplements; don't think I am taking any of those things mentioned, because of my allergies to grasses, etc., I'm very careful with herbal remedies, but will look at all my supp bottles.

    Kath- I use Maxalt for my migraines; it is my one & only prescription drug, other than that, I just use supplements & diet, but this wasn't helping my migraines. I do not have migraines too often, so I never need to use very much Maxalt, but for me, it has been a godsend. Of course, my allergist & I continue to look at my triggers; I know being around cigarette smoke is one....

    Thanks again, Kurt, for the info.

  11. kaths

    kaths New Member

    I'm looking into Cytolog and will continue with OLE. Until relief comes, I'll hang on to my Maxalt, Vicodin, etc.

    I don't remember who mentioned it, but for me, menopause did not mean the end of migraines. I haven't had a period in three years.

    Oddly, my migraines began when I was 34 (now 51), had an awful sinus infection, had to wean my 18-month-old (last child) in order to take a heavy duty antibiotic, and then became lactose-intolerant. It's as if my whole biochemistry changed. Of course, the lactose intolerance diagnosis took months of testing and was finally the result of keeping a food diary. (My doctor called as I was about the leave for a barium enema and said, "Don't go. You're allergic to milk.")

    Have a great weekend, ladies -- and gentlemen!
    [This Message was Edited on 06/20/2003]
  12. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    My migraines were directly linked to my sinus symptoms..did not have them, until developing the sinus infections..so, you sound a lot like me..

    Once, I had the sinus symptoms greatly controlled, the migraines completely stopped or at least will greatly diminish (can still have a minor one, but have only had one-two in about 4 months, and instead of IMITREX, I can now treat with only Excedrin migraine)..but I had daily migraines to three/day during the highly allergy producing seasons, before OLE..

    You might need to try Cytolog, too..if the OLE does not start to control your sinus symptoms..PatPalmer indicates that it has abolished her sinus symptoms..

    My doc wanted to try the Botox injections on me..Did it not help at all?..I did not want to try it given our diseases..

    Hope this helps,