Butter what? You will be hearing a ton about butterbur in the next year for headache prevention and here is why. Updated guidelines from the American Headache society and the American Academy of Neurology have made butterbur, the herbal supplement petasites which is an extract of the butterbur plant, a top choice for migraine prevention.
If you want to reduce the frequency and severity of your migraine attacks, butterbur should top your list of daily supplements.
The butterbur plant is a medicinal plant long known for its muscle-relaxing, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving abilities, all of which have been verified by modern science. The name butterbur comes from the ancient practice of using the leaves to wrap butter.
You can buy butterbur over the counter or as a prescription. The prescription butterbur, Petadolex, does have good evidence for its use but it’s expensive. Petadolex was patented in the U.S. in 2003 and has been gaining popularity in the U.S. due to physician referral and articles about its effectiveness in respected medical journals.
Migraine/headache sufferers taking Petadolex 75 mg Gelcaps two times daily were able to reduce their migraine/headaches by at least 50% or more after just three months. Yipes, that’s good news.
While it may be a surprise to many physicians that some of the nonpharmaceuticals actually work it is not to me, as many of my patients have used it with good results. Remember that you have to take butterbur for about 2 months before you start to see the significant reduction in headaches.
Who should take butterbur for prevention of headaches and migraine headaches? It makes sense to take 75 mg twice a day if you have one or more attacks a week, if other migraine medications don’t work for you, or when migraines come with a prolonged aura or worrisome neurological symptoms, such as tingling or numbness.
Have you tried it?
- Dr O.
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