Butterbur for migraine

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deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2265
   Posted 11/6/2011 6:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I am a chronic migraine sufferer. Currently taking Verapamil 240mg a day but looking for an abortive. NSAIDs are useless as they result in gastric bleeding as I am a Ulcerative colitis patient. I came across something called as butterbur, contains anti-inflmmatories called as petasin or something like it. I wonder, if anybody here has tried this supplement. if yes, what dose and whats the effect.

Thanks in advance.
Diagnosed March 2007 with left sided UC at the age of 30.
Currently on,
Colazal 9 daily,
Imuran, 100mg + 50mg
Vit. B12, 1mg
Multivitamin, 1 tablet daily
Fish oil 1200mg daily
Vit D 2000 IU daily.

Verapamil 240mg for migraine, Migraine episode now at least twice a month,
Ibuprofen 400mg is the only solution (but leads to bleeding). Looking for alternatives.

kbrigan
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/6/2011 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I'm a life-long basilar migraineur, now 51. I've tried a wide variety of drugs, including Depakote, Verapamil, Klonopin, etc. as well as feverfew, magnesium, and vitex supplements, and had no luck preventing migraines, and had terrible side-effects from the prescription meds as well.
 
I'm about to sound like an infomercial, but I swear this is the truth (and I'm not on anybody's payroll)! I started on 150 mg daily of Butterbur, and it's helped immensely! I still have a lot of my bad habits that promote stress, and am still exposed to the same triggers (fragrances, a disordered startle response, hearing sensitivity, etc.), but it's as if my brain is issuing a spark, but the migraine isn't nearly as likely to "catch fire." I'm just not going into the excruciating headaches and bouts of sensory ultrasensitivity like I used to. Holy socks! This is after YEARS of trying everything under the sun. I'll post some links below to more info.
 
Butterbur in its raw state contains a set of alkaloids compounds, "pyrrolizidine alkaloids," also called "PAs." You want to make sure, if you try Butterbur, that you use an extract that has had the PAs removed. They're nasty subsances and can cause liver problems and cancer with repeated use. Research from Germany and Switzerland, expecially, however, shows that the extract form is safe and at least as effective as Topamax or other common migraine prophylactic meds. Butterbur is used in Canada for migraine treatment as part of the national medical program.
 
Most of the research is on a version of Butterbur called Petadolex which is pretty expensive, ~$30 USD a month. A much cheaper, but equally effective version (the only one I've used) is available from Swanson Medical Products for about five dollars a month (http://www.swansonvitamins.com/Search?keyword=butterbur&doSearch=true&ntt=&n=0&ntk=Level1).
 
I've read a couple of reports that some people can go into rebound headaches after about a year on butterbur, as is possible with any medication. I'm planning on taking a "drug vacation" twice a year for one month, where I don't take any supplements or medications at all (I'm not on anything that I have to take daily.) Apparently this is good for your liver functions and also is a way to guage whether or not a particular supplement is still necessary.
 
Best of luck, and don't let the [deleted] migraines get you down!
 
Some research:
 
 
 
 
 

deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2265
   Posted 11/8/2011 6:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your detailed reply with the links. More questions follow-

Since you started on butterbur what else are you taking for your migraines. Like, I am on Verapamil, so is there any remote possibility that I can be off Verapamil? Honestly, I would love to, don't want to pump in the drugs, I am already taking lot many of them as it is.
How long does it take to see the effects of butterbur? My reading says, about 3 months. Does this time frame match with your experience?

Could you please elaborate more on how your headaches were in terms of frequency. Your symptoms are certainly those of classical migraines. Even after maintaining a diary for about a year, I failed to find a trigger but I am suspicious of loud noises, flashing lights for too long, weather changes, fatigue as possible triggers. I wonder, if you up your dose to 300mg a day at the onset of migraine, does it help as an abortive? Have you tried this way?

Your idea of drug vacation is interesting but I have a little doubt of its practicality. The reason is, if it usually takes 3 months to see the effects of butterbur, how this drug vacation will affect future effects of butterbur. In theory, I would also like to take drug vacation but its not practical for me. Instead, I would love to know if there are any liver detox programs available. I talked to my GI doc about this. He totally dismissed my concerns. His comment was, our liver can suffer so much of torture that metabolizing these drugs is a piece of cake. Since I am not a smoker and given up on alcohol, he claims that I am not putting excessive stress on my liver, still would like to detox it sometimes, just don't know how..
Diagnosed March 2007 with left sided UC at the age of 30.
Currently on,
Colazal 9 daily,
Imuran, 100mg + 50mg
Vit. B12, 1mg
Multivitamin, 1 tablet daily
Fish oil 1200mg daily
Vit D 2000 IU daily.

Verapamil 240mg for migraine, Migraine episode now at least twice a month,
Ibuprofen 400mg is the only solution (but leads to bleeding). Looking for alternatives.

vitaka
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 909
   Posted 2/20/2017 9:01 AM (GMT -6)   
To revive an old thread...

Delta, have you started a butterbur regimen? I am just starting one and was curious if you experienced any GI side effects, especially since you're a fellow IBDer.
30s F. Crohn's ileocolitis dx 2/06. Arthritis dx9/09. Asthma dx4/13. Raynaud's. Chronic headaches/migraines.
Current IBD treatment (as of Aug16): Entocort & Pentasa. Past: Remicade
On Botox regimen for migraines.

missmigraine
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/1/2017 6:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I've tried Butterbur but I didn't have success.
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