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Epilepsy Drug May Reduce Daily Headaches

But Experts Say Neurontin Is Not a Top Choice

Food Triggers?

Both experts say they consider Neurontin one of the least effective medications used to prevent chronic daily headaches. Silberstein had conducted prevention studies on the epilepsy drug Topamax. He considers this drug, along with the epilepsy drug Depakote and certain tricyclic antidepressants, to be the most effective prevention drugs available.

Buchholz says calcium-channel blockers can also help prevent headaches in certain patients.

The two experts disagree about the importance of foods as headache triggers. Buchholz says that a long list of foods -- including caffeine, chocolate, cheeses, nuts, MSG, alcohol, and even bananas and citrus fruits -- can bring on headaches, and he urges his patients to avoid them. Silberstein says that with the exception of alcohol, MSG, and caffeine, there is no scientific evidence linking foods with headaches.

"It is draconian to impose a long list of food restrictions on headache patients without scientific evidence to back it up," Silberstein says.


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