Scientists at the New York Albert Einstein College of Medicine conducted a 2005 study on 24,000 migraine and headache sufferers. The results of the survey revealed that people who took barbiturates or caffeine-containing drugs for pain relief were more likely to develop rebound headaches.
This is also known as medication-overuse headaches. These medications can make migraine worse if taken in excess or too often. In 2006, chronic migraine had affected 209 people who took part in the study. These drugs should not be used by pregnant or breast-feeding mothers, or anyone with heart disease or other complications.
Chronic migraines can be caused by excessive use of codeine, oxycodone, and barbiturates. There are many other medications that can be used to prevent migraines. However, they are not always effective and have many side effects. Anti depressants such as Amitriptyline are one of the most popular migraine treatments. These medications are addictive and can cause withdrawal symptoms that last for months. This should not be done without the supervision of a qualified physician. Patients suffering from migraines are realizing that prescription drugs are not effective unless they increase their dosages.
Many are turning to natural remedies to relieve their pain. Natural remedies have fewer side effects and are not associated with any known addictions.
Butterbur is one such remedy. Butterbur is found in Asia, Europe, and North America. The flowers and leaves have been used as a folk remedy for centuries. Butterbur is believed to be effective for migraines, allergies, asthma, and stomach cramps. Butterbur is a member the ragweed family. Anyone allergic to chrysanthemum, daisy, marigold or ragweed should avoid it. It should not be used to treat children.
Modern research suggests that Butterbur calms spasms in certain muscle tissues and reduces inflammation of the blood vessels walls. A study published in Neurology suggests that migraines can be reduced by using an extract of Butterbur. The study was conducted by Yeshiva University in New York and involved the use of Petodolex, a butterbur extract.
The study involved 245 participants who had suffered between two to six migraine attacks per week for the three months prior to the trial. To eliminate chemical residues from their bodies, they stopped taking their migraine preventative medication three months prior to the trial. Over a period of four months, the trial compared the effects of Butterbur extract with placebo. It used 75mg, 50mg and 75mg daily doses.
After four months, migraine frequency decreased by 48% in those who took the 75mg dose. The placebo group saw a 26% decrease. Researchers found that migraine frequency was 36% lower in those who took the 50mg dosage. This result was comparable to the placebo. The 75mg dose group saw a significant reduction in migraine attacks, with 50% more people experiencing them than the placebo group.