A  A  A   Print
Potentially Harmful Remedies for Migraines

Potentially Harmful Remedies for Migraines

If you’ve ever taken an herbal remedy, you should know that some herbs may interact dangerously with migraine medicines. Although researchers need to do more studies, they advise people to use caution.

Triptans, a class of prescription medications used to treat migraine pain, and tricyclic antidepressants, used to prevent migraine, may interact with the following herbal remedies:

  • Echinacea

  • Garlic (in large doses)

  • Ginkgo biloba

  • Ginseng

  • St. John’s wort

  • Valerian root

These herbs reduce the liver’s ability to process medicines. This may cause a dangerous interaction. For example, taking St. John’s wort with a tricyclic antidepressant can cause a serious—even fatal—reaction. Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, St. John’s wort and valerian root may worsen migraine symptoms. Other studies, however, show that St. John’s wort can lessen migraine pain.

Feverfew is an herbal supplement that has been studied and recognized as having benefits in some populations of migraine sufferers. However, this herb should never be taken along with the triptan classification of drugs as it could cause dangerous hypertension.

More research about herb-drug interactions is needed. Because of the potentially dangerous effects, however, tell your health care provider and pharmacist about any herb, vitamin, or other dietary supplement you take. Treat an herbal remedy just like a drug. If your health care provider and pharmacist know what herb you’re considering taking, they can advise you whether or not it is safe.

 

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.