Here’s a quote to consider. “From beta-blockers to magnesium [Mg], — serendipity has guided migraine research. We may seem to have come a long way but migraine therapeutics, particularly preventive or prophylactic therapy, remains purely empirical.”

OK, what is the status of using magnesium to prevent migraine?

In 1999 the prevailing view was summarized as follows.

  • Mg appears to play a role in the underlying disease mechanism of migraine
  • Preliminary evidence of effectiveness in one study of mentrual migraine
  • Low cost
  • Good safety profile

Since then, one study of magnesium to prevent migraine was published.

In a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, the response to Mg 300 mg combined with riboflavin 400 mg plus feverfew 100 mg was compared to riboflavin 25 mg. After 3 months of treatment there was no difference between groups. In fact, the use of riboflavin alone, which was thought to be a placebo, was more effective than expected, leading the researchers to conclude that perhaps it should be studied further.

And what about Mg?

Proponents of Mg point to Mg deficiency, the ability of Mg to dilate blood vessels, and their personal success with this treatment.

Maybe so, but this has not translated into Mg as a reliable preventive treatment for migraine.

Illustration: Informations-sante La migraine

8/21/06 21:41 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.