At the University of Turin, in Italy, researchers reviewed the evidence.

And contributors to the US Headache Consortium tell us why it’s important.

  • Acupuncture
    • Effective
    • Consider to prevent migraine in patients with frequent or insufficiently controlled attacks
  • Homeopathy
    • No clear evidence to support or refute its use in managing migraine
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) and coenzyme Q10
    • Significantly decrease the frequency of migraine attacks
  • Alpha lipoic acid (antioxidant)
    • Reduces migraine frequency, but not significantly vs placebo
  • Magnesium
    • Useful particularly for children and menstrually related migraine
  • Butterbur
    • Significantly decreases attack frequency
  • Feverfew
    • Effectiveness not confirmed
  • Ginkgolide B
    • Effective in controlling migraine with aura and pediatric migraine
    • Based on uncontrolled studies that require confirmation

The bottom line?

Members of the US Headache Consortium tell us why this is important to know?

“Many patients seek additional types of treatment to help manage migraine and other types of headache. Although these patients are not necessarily dissatisfied with conventional therapies, many of them find nonpharmacological methods to be more congruent with their own values, beliefs, and philosophical orientations.”

These therapies may be particularly suited as treatment options for headache sufferers with the following characteristics.

  • Patient preference for nonpharmacological interventions
  • Poor tolerance for specific drug treatments
  • Medical contraindications for specific pharmacological treatments
  • Insufficient or no response to drug treatment
  • Pregnancy, planned pregnancy, or nursing
  • History of long-term, frequent, or excessive use of pain medicine or acute use of drugs that aggravate headache problems (or lead to decreased responsiveness to other pharmacotherapies)
  • Significant stress or deficient stress-coping skills

5/22/10 14:10 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.