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What are the concerns about using beta-blockers for chronic migraine?

ANSWER

As many as 4 out of 5 of people who take beta-blockers get relief from their migraines. Still, like all drugs, they can cause side effects. These include feeling depressed and having problems during sex.

You may not be able to take beta-blockers if you have asthma or diabetes. Your doctor may suggest a different type of preventive medicine if you have certain types of migraines with auras. These medicines were thought to increase stroke risk with this type of migraine, though the proof is very scant.

SOURCES:

The Migraine Trust: "Preventive medicines."

American Family Physician : "Medications for Migraine Prophylaxis."

Progress in Cardiovascular Nursing : "Cardiovascular Effects of Migraine Therapy."

Harvard Health Publishing: "Migraines: Stop them before they start."

Headache : "Beta-Blockers for Migraine."

Medscape: "verapamil (Rx)."

National Headache Foundation: "Calcium Channel Blockers."

Mayo Clinic: "Migraine treatment: Can antidepressants help?"

PubChem Open Chemistry Database: "Amitriptyline," "Noritriptyline."

Consumer Reports : "Amitriptyline May Help Reduce Migraine Frequency."

American Migraine Foundation: "Botox for Migraine," "Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Targeted Therapy for Migraine."

NHS Choices: "Migraine - Prevention."

UpToDate: "Chronic Migraine."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 20, 2018

SOURCES:

The Migraine Trust: "Preventive medicines."

American Family Physician : "Medications for Migraine Prophylaxis."

Progress in Cardiovascular Nursing : "Cardiovascular Effects of Migraine Therapy."

Harvard Health Publishing: "Migraines: Stop them before they start."

Headache : "Beta-Blockers for Migraine."

Medscape: "verapamil (Rx)."

National Headache Foundation: "Calcium Channel Blockers."

Mayo Clinic: "Migraine treatment: Can antidepressants help?"

PubChem Open Chemistry Database: "Amitriptyline," "Noritriptyline."

Consumer Reports : "Amitriptyline May Help Reduce Migraine Frequency."

American Migraine Foundation: "Botox for Migraine," "Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Targeted Therapy for Migraine."

NHS Choices: "Migraine - Prevention."

UpToDate: "Chronic Migraine."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 20, 2018

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How can botulinum toxin (Botox) help prevent chronic migraine?

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