Dr. Oz promotes magnesium for headaches

Dr. Oz : “Like Alexander Mauskop, I believe that magnesium can help—it relaxes arteries and muscles in the body, both of which can help with headaches”.   This statement in the latest issue of O, The Oprah Magazine is not very surprising coming from a cardiac surgeon – magnesium is routinely used after open heart surgery.  Unfortunately, many neurologist and other physicians treating headaches still do not recommend magnesium for their headache patients.  And this is despite all the scientific evidence and despite the recommendation of the American Academy of Neurology.  I think this is in part due to their training that emphasizes the use of drugs rather than natural approaches.  This bias is reinforced by the strong influence of the pharmaceutical industry.

  1. Helen says: 10/23/20094:20 pm

    I take magnesium. I honestly can’t say if it helps but I think it is good for me anyway. I don’t see any downside to taking it.

  2. Lou says: 11/25/200911:30 am

    I tried it and it did not work it. I tried it because I wanted to get off Topamax. I tired with B12 under my Doctors care. And the Magnesium had some side effefts. I wanted to work so bad but back on tompamax. I will never take Magnesesium again.

  3. Dr. Mauskop says: 11/25/20091:22 pm

    Magnesium deficiency is present in about half of migraine sufferers, so only that half can benefit from magnesium. However, less than half of patients benefit because of poor absorption of magnesium. The only side effect of magnesium is diarrhea or stomach pains, which often indicates poor absorption. We often check RBC magnesium levels to detect this deficiency or give an intravenous infusion of magnesium. If the infusion is effective we try to find a form of magnesium (magnesium oxide, chloride aspartate, etc) that may be better tolerated. If none work, then some patients come in for monthly infusions.

  4. Rosemarie says: 12/27/20098:47 pm

    How much magnesium do you need take to relive headaches?

  5. Dr. Mauskop says: 12/27/200910:09 pm

    For the prevention of headaches I usually recommend 400 mg of magnesium oxide daily. It should be taken with food to avoid diarrhea, which is the only common side effect of this supplement. If diarrhea occurs with one type of supplement, such as magnesium oxide, another type, such as chelated magnesium (magnesium aspartate, glycinate, and other) may not cause diarrhea. For the acute treatment of headaches these supplements don’t work very well because besides possibly causing diarrhea, they take too long to get absorbed.

  6. Shauna says: 06/03/20111:14 am

    It was recommended to me to take Magnesium supplements because I suffer from headaches caused by changes in the barometric pressure and I also am Insulin resistant and my doctor said it would help in stabilizing my blood sugar levels.
    I did take with food and I did not have any problems with diarrhea and it definitely helped with my headaches. I couldn’t believe how well it worked for me and only wish I heard of this alot sooner, because I have suffered for years with these headaches. I’m anxious to see if continued use will also help with stabilizing my blood sugar.

  7. Valerie says: 02/19/201211:21 pm

    I am just trying the Magnesium for the first time. I was on Topamax for years and then my insurance decides that they will no longer cover it but they will the genaric but I can not take it because it makes me mad. I get the mean and fustrating feeling when I take it. My husband and kids told me that they would leave if I kept taking it. It just sucks that I can not afford to get the name brand because it is the only thing that has ever helped me. I just do not have $600 a month for this medican. I have gone from having them once or twice a month to just about everyday again….I need HELP!

  8. Dr. Mauskop says: 02/20/20122:14 pm

    I have seen a couple of of patients with a similar problem when they switched to generic Topamax. In addition to trying supplements, such as magnesium, CoQ10 (300 mg), which is a very good idea, you have other options. One, is to try a generic made by a different company, such as Teva, Apotex, Aurobindo, Mylan, Ranbaxy, Roxane. Ranbaxy products are usually the worst – their plants in India have been repeatedly suspended by the FDA for manufacturing problems and Teva tends to be the best, although Mylan and Apotex are also usually good. You may need to a different pharmacy chain to get a different generic – you can try CVS, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, etc. Another option is to see if your insurance will pay for Botox injections. Most insurers require that you have at least 15 days with headaches each month, although very mild headaches also count. So, you can have 8 severe headache days and 7 mild ones. The insurers often also require that you fail 2 -3 other preventinve drugs, such as Topamax, Inderal and other, which sounds like you’ve done already. Botox is much safer than any drug, especially Topamax and it is much more effective – it works for 70% of patients with chronic migraine. The next option is to keep trying other preventive medications. Some of the ones that are not used frequently but can be very effective are Zanaflex or tizanidine (4 -16 mg at night), Namenda (memantine), lisinopril, candesartan, nad other.

  9. darla says: 02/24/20122:38 pm

    I have read that it is important to take calcium with magnesium to help with the absorption of the magnesium – and that the calcium should be no more than double the amount of the magnesium.

    Is that true – or can I take the magnesium on its own? What about this product?
    Calm Plus Calcium Raspberry Lemon 8oz
    Calcium Magnesium Supplement
    Calm Plus Calcium
    Raspberry-Lemon 8oz
    A superior magnesium-calcium formulation. Dietary food supplement. Peter Gillham’s Natural Calm Plus Calcium is formulated with 3 parts magnesium to 2 parts calcium, which will prevent a surplus of calcium robbing the body’s vital magnesium supply and avoid the symptoms associated with depleted levels of magnesium.

    thank you.

  10. Dr. Mauskop says: 02/25/201211:33 pm

    Actually, calcium can interfere with absorption of magnesium. The reason they are often put together in one pill is because magnesium improves absorption of calcium, but if you need magnesium, which is the case with many migraine sufferers, you need to take magnesium without calcium. For post-menopausal women who need calcium I recommend taking magnesium alone with one meal and calcium with magnesium at a different meal. It will not be too much magnesium because the one with calcium will not be well absorbed.

  11. Terry Konarska says: 03/11/20121:04 pm

    I have had headaches on and off for the past 8 years. Neurologists and chiropractors seem to believe these may be caused by accident of 1998.
    Chiropractice does not work, suggestions or meds from neurologists does not work. I have tried magnesium and may go back to that. The best relief I get is from migraine pills from Target that contain acetomefin and caffeine. Sometimes I wake up with a headache other times I don’t get a headache until 11am-12pm. Please help, I have now had headaches the last 21-27 days, as you can tell I keep a headache diary. I want to reach the point where I am not taking something all the time. I am considering acupuncture, but that gets expensive.

  12. Dr. Mauskop says: 03/11/20128:36 pm

    Unfortunately, while caffeine can help headaches, it can also make them worse. Drinking more than two cups of coffee or taking two tablets of caffeine-containing medications on a daily basis can worsen headaches, make them occur daily, and make them less responsive to treatment. Migralex is a good over-the-counter alternative for some patients, but check with your doctor first because it contains aspirin (but not caffeine). Acupuncture has been proven to help 50-60% of patients who try it. I find that my patients remain improved during the course of treatment, but once I stop giving them acupuncture, headaches return a few weeks later. Botox is more effective and more convenient – it requires one treatment every three months. The cost of 12-15 acupuncture treatments can be comparable to one Botox treatment and Botox is more likely to be covered by the insurance since it is an FDA-approved treatment for chronic migraines.

  13. Kristina says: 04/12/20124:11 pm

    I have to chime in on this, I have severe menstrual migraines. I am a young healthy person who has to prophylatically treat my migraines because I get about 10 days of headaches around my period (worse after). Migraine medicine does nothing for me, in fact it makes them much worse. I used birth control pills to treat them at first, and it works but you have to skip your period and take them continuously, and I no longer want to treat them like that. So my doctor recommended beta blockers, CA channel blockers or anti-depressants to treat them, all which have much worse side effects than the magnesium oxide and are much more risky if you want to have children soon. Well, the magnesium oxide works. The dose to treat my migraines is about 600 mg, at 400mg I still get one a small one. I am actually blown away to not have this pain that get a small hint of in the morning and goes away after my daily dose. So yay for mag ox, please try it if you are a migraine sufferer. I will be consulting with a GI physician soon to make sure that 600mg is ok on my GI tract.

  14. Muni says: 04/14/20128:20 am

    Has it been found useful for occipital neuralgia type headaches?Any experiences on that?

  15. Dr. Mauskop says: 04/14/201212:49 pm

    There is no specific evidence of magnesium deficiency in neuralgias, but magnesium deficiency makes all problems worse, including all types of pain. There is no downside in trying magnesium, unless you have serious kidney problems. The only side effect of magnesium is diarrhea, and that is why it should be taken with food.

  16. Catherine says: 05/03/20129:27 am

    Would taking a magnesium supplement alone daily help with headaches, or is it the combination of aspirin + magnesium that is important?

  17. Dr. Mauskop says: 05/03/20129:59 am

    The aspirin with magnesium combination in Migralex is for an acute treatment of headaches and is formulated to dissolve and absorb quickly. Taking these ingredients separately is not likely to work because regular aspirin and especially magnesium take much longer to absorb. I recommend magnesium alone as a daily supplement to prevent migraine headaches. Migralex is not a daily medication and should be taken as needed for an acute headache.

  18. Lindsay says: 05/22/20128:27 pm

    Is taking Magnesium Oxide long-term safe?

  19. Dr. Mauskop says: 05/22/20129:49 pm

    Yes, taking the recommended dose of 400 mg a day is safe and healthy.

  20. Wendy says: 05/26/20122:24 am

    I have always had a mix of tension and migraine headaches but has gotten worse with headaches 24/7 for months. Have taken Magnesium Citrate for two weeks and not a single headache. I have been reading the comments and I think I am taking too much – 800mg daily so will reduce to 400 now headaches under control. Amazing! I can’t beleive it. Can work a 10 hour day with no problems but used to get home in tears and go to bed by the end of the day.

  21. Susan says: 06/19/201212:41 pm

    Which is better, Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium oxide? Difference please? I have had migraines for 10 years now and have never been told about magnesium supplements until now.

  22. Rebecca says: 06/21/20121:03 am

    I have suffered from migranes since I was 7 to the point of tears and vomiting. I get them as often as once or more per week. I started getting massage therapy by monthly and when I could affored it, it seemed to help. Once I stopped though nothing has worked. I am now 21 weeks pregnant and have headachs more often than usual due to hormones, at least every other day. Migraines are a normal in my family as my grandmother and brother both get the same type of migraines, about as often. My brother has tried magniesum and it has helped him, and my OB prescribed me some as well. I’ve been on it for almost a week now and have only had one very tiny ( livable) headach since. The question I have is I am taking 400 mg tablets 2 times a day. Is this dangerouse for a normal person, let alone a pregnant one?

  23. Dr. Mauskop says: 06/21/20126:36 am

    There is no danger, only benefits, unless you have a serious kidney problem. Magnesium is also very healthy for the baby.

  24. Dr. Mauskop says: 06/21/20124:40 pm

    I usually recommend starting with magnesium oxide, but some people tolerate better other salts of magnesium – citrate, aspartate, glycinate, chloride, etc. If one causes diarrhea or does not seem to help any of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, it is worth trying another.

  25. Tina says: 07/21/20124:53 pm

    I was diagnosed last year with demyelinization and referred to a neurologist, who immediately spotted a deficiency in Vitamin D (my blood serum was 17). My neuro prescribed 20k units of D3 for one month and then dropping down to 5000 a day. My number went up to the mid 60’s after one month, but dropped back down almost immediately when I cut the dose. We’ve been repeating the pattern for several months now. Previously my symptoms were limited to memory loss, confusion and anxiety. A couple of months ago the migraines started, then came nausea, and now violent periodic vomiting. Yesterday she mentions that one of the GI doctors she works with told her that if he didn’t eat sunflower seeds every day while taking D3, he gets bad headaches. Sunflower seeds are packed with magnesium. She gave me samples of migraine medicines (triptans), and recommended I try some sunflower seeds and/or magnesium supplements. She said she was not sure what kind of magnesium or how much I needed, but she was adament that I not take magnesium oxide. Off to the health foods store I went and after discussion with the clerk in the vitamin section I bought myself some magnesium citrate 200mg. She said it would be more easily digestible. I took one as soon as I got home, and also this morning. Last night I went to the Vitamin D Council website and found magnesium to be a cofactor of D3, along with K2, Zinc and Boron. It is almost 4pm in the afternoon – I have done dishes, washed dogs, done laundry and am now sitting here telling my story with absolutely no headache! I’m a believer. Now all I’ve left to do is balance the K2, Zinc and Boron.

  26. lori says: 07/22/201211:09 am

    I have suffered for several years with migraines and have tried all kinds of medications with no success. Am currently using an ergotimine for the headaches and have become more dependent on it. I get several migaines a week and have increased the frequency of the medication. Am wondering if this continues if I can ever stop taking the medication. I am tired and worn out from the headaches and the medication. Am wondering if I can take Magnesium to slow the frequency and hopefully get me off the medication. I go to acupuncture which is successful at times but the headaches continue.

  27. Dr. Mauskop says: 07/22/201210:17 pm

    Yes, ergotamine is known to cause worsening of headaches – rebound or “medication overuse headaches” and the best to treat them is with preventive medications, such as gabapentin or Botox injections. Magnesium can be also helpful, as can other supplements and biofeedback. You need to see a neurologist to discuss these options.

  28. Heather says: 07/27/20123:00 pm

    I have had migraines since I turned 20 (14 years now). I take Imitrex after it comes on strong and I have to sleep for it to go away. They come on the first day of my cycle, change in weather, stress, etc. Would you recommend 400 mg or 600 mg of the magnesium oxide? I also have mitral valve prolapse (from Marfans), which I just read is known to cause low magnesium levels. Is there anything else you would recommend me taking with the magnesium or instead of it? Thank you!

  29. Dr. Mauskop says: 07/27/20124:04 pm

    They usual recommended dose of magnesium is 400 mg a day, but some patients need 600 mg or even more, as long as it does not upset the stomach or cause diarrhea. Patients who do not tolerate or do not absorb oral magnesium require monthly intravenous infusions of magnesium.

  30. Bryn says: 07/28/20125:09 pm

    After menopause I began having combinations of tension and migraine headaches. Now in my tenth year of dealing with these headaches, I believe my new neurologist and I have hit on a great combination of drugs and supplements – a combination which has reduced a nearly daily headache to one headache a week: 400mg of magnesium twice daily, 200 mg B-2, and 200 CoQ-10. (My neurologist emphasized that mg was the most important of the supplements; taking the others could be optional). For a preventive I now take 30 mg of Amitriptyline at night and take Sumatriptan for the headaches. And most amazingly to me, I can sometimes get relief now with ibuprofen without relying on Sumatriptan.

    Because I’m also sensitive to changes in the weather, I try as much as possible to stay in a controlled environment – in this hot and humid summer I limit my trips outdoors to the bare essentials. I apply the same strategy in very cold conditions.

    I hope my experience might prove useful to other folks!

  31. Dr. Mauskop says: 07/28/20125:39 pm

    You may want to ask your doctor about trying Migralex instead of ibuprofen – it may work better.

  32. Bryn says: 07/28/20128:36 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion, Dr. Mauskop. I’ll follow through with that.

  33. Corey says: 08/02/201212:00 am

    I’ve been taking the mag oxide 400mg with b2 100mg twice daily for two months now. It definitely works. My neurologist told me mg oxide was the way to go, less likely to cause stomach issues. However, it does. I find if I cut back to 400mg daily it is better, but my headaches are worse. I have a history of kidney stones, but not surey if that is considered a serious issue. I’m worried about switching to mg citrate or another form and making my tummy trouble worse. Are their certain foods you would suggest specifically to help absorption so that I can continue to take the dose that seems to work for me?

  34. Dr. Mauskop says: 08/02/20128:04 pm

    Magnesium oxide is the type of magnesium I recommend first to my patients, but if it upsets the stomach or causes diarrhea, then chelated magnesium (also called magnesium aspartate, gluconate or aspartate) or Mag Tab SR can be tried instead. Those who do not tolerate any oral magnesium can be given monthly infusions of magnesium. People with kidney stones usually can take magnesium, unless they are large and and multiple and impair kidney function.

  35. Jackie says: 08/03/20122:55 pm

    I get very very bad migraines at night or i’ll say when I lay me head down.they are so bad, they make me feel depressed and I wanna cry. it takes hours for me to sleep and when I wake up the the morning, my head is still hurting. As soon as I sit up, I feel better. About 2-3 times the headaches stay with me. I was taking topamax, but the side effects were numbness around my mouth, hands and legs, that I stopped. The ony medication that I’m taking is… for my high blood pressure. I also just started walking on the treadmill everyday. I heard this will help. I bought 250mg Magnesium tablets today. How much should I take? Would you suggest I take it before bed? Have you heard of headaches when people lay there head down? What would you suggest?

  36. Jackie says: 08/04/201211:46 pm

    I meant to say 25mg of Magnesium, not 250. Oops!

  37. Dr. Mauskop says: 08/05/201211:13 am

    The usual dose of magnesium for the prevention of migraine headaches is 400 – 500 mg a day with some patients needing even higher amounts.

  38. Jackie says: 08/05/20123:36 pm

    What can you tell me about the kind of headaches, I’ve been experiencing?

  39. Dr. Mauskop says: 08/05/20128:32 pm

    Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what kind of headache you are having without taking a detailed history and an examination.

  40. bxconnector says: 08/07/20123:38 pm

    My neck tensed up when I slept. I have three herniated discs that I though caused the problem. When I awoke , I would have burning headaches all day. I took the advice from Dr. Oz , and use Calcium potassium and magnesium together. Next day most of the burning gone and very little necks spasms left. Worked overnight literally, been three weeks..Hope this helps someone

  41. Susan says: 08/07/20127:50 pm

    I currently suffer at least one migraine a week and many more “bad” headaches several more days of the week. It is more unusual than not to be headache-free. in December of 2011, I was placed on an amitriptyline prophylactic regimen and it was miraculous-but six months later, I decided to stop because I did not want to be on an anti-depressant for too long AND I gained a lot of weight! Now , my headaches are back and I am back to my pill-popping ways of the past-I can take 3000 mgs of aspirin in one day easily or 1200 mgs of ibuprofen when I have a headache, which is often. I will try the magnesium as soon as possible and pray for good results. I don’t want to be popping pills forever.

  42. bxconnector says: 08/07/20128:19 pm

    My problem is over 20 years old. My Neurologist said I can increase the magnesium to 1200 mg. GNC puts out a new Magnesium tablet.. It is called Super Magnesium . He also recommended 400 mg of B-2. I have migraines also, these are targeted for Migraines.I also have migraines the migraines are separate from the headaches I had sleeping.

  43. Vlconig says: 08/08/20127:42 pm

    Dr. Mauskop,
    I have been suffering from migraines since I was nine years old. At that time I was taking phenobarbital 3 times a day. I took them for nine years. I am now 54 years old and still suffering. I get headaches 3-4 times a week and they are different levels of severity. I have had MRI ‘s, CT scans, allergy tests, and tried all types of medicines to stop them from occurring. (which I could not tolerate). I was on lexipro to help ease anxiety thinking that was the cause but had to stop due to increase in weight and other side Effects. I thought it might be menopause or vitamin deficiencies. What else could it be and what else can my doctor check for?

  44. Dr. Mauskop says: 08/08/20129:09 pm

    Ask your doctor about taking magnesium, CoQ10, and Botox injections.

  45. Ann says: 08/23/201212:06 am


  46. Dr. Mauskop says: 08/23/20129:53 am

    400 mg of magnesium and 300 mg of CoQ10 have been shown to help teenagers with migraine headaches and both are safe supplements, but we cannot make any specific recommendation to anyone without a consultation, so please check with your granddaughter’s doctor before giving her these supplements. Botox injections can also be very effective for chronic migraines, even though Botox is approved only for adults with chronic migraines. However, Botox has been used extensively and in large amounts in children with cerebral palsy and it has been found to be safe.

  47. Talia says: 08/24/20123:39 pm

    Got off my birth control to see if my migraines would go away..or lessen. Nothing. I then started taking a prenatal & iron supplement, while staying off the bc. Didn’t work. Now for the past few weeks I’ve been taking the prenatal, iron, & magnesium. Nothing still works (although I get diarrhea since taking the magnesium). Doc prescribed me Imitrex but all it does is make my body feel weird & out of control & makes the migraine worse instead of relieving it. I sleep better if I take it around bedtime but there’s no point in taking it otherwise. Especially since I have an 8 month old & I’m a stay at home mom. I see my doc again Tuesday, but is there something u can suggest that I can research & talk about with my doc?

  48. Vel says: 09/08/20125:47 pm

    My 8 yo daughter has suffered for the past year with Hemipalegic Migraines, we have been to the ER for Toradal IV 4 times. Her symptoms are similar to some one having a stroke. She is currently taking Topiramate 50mg, which causes her sleep trouble and stomache cramps, leading to the necessity of taking Zantac and Melatonin. Six years ago she suffered seizures of an unknown origin that came on only after she had been sick to her stomach – every six months, for 2 years. There is also a family rumor that the men in my family do not process calcium normally leading to deficiency. I believe strongly that her migraines and seizures are somehow connected and that there is a chromosonal issue. We understand that in neurology there isn’t usually a surgery, or magic pill that will correct the disorder/disease, we are just looking to figure out what it is, find a doctor that will listen, and find a medication that doesn’t have the side effects (long and short term.) She has an appointment at the end of the month, and is scheduled for an Magnetic Renosant Angiogram and more bloodwork, including Chromosomal Microarray Analysis. I would love to have something else to ask the Neuro to look into – they just hate it when I come prepared with questions. Thank you

  49. Dr. Mauskop says: 09/09/201210:46 pm

    You should ask her doctor about getting IV magnesium or at least checking her RBC magnesium (not serum magnesium, which is unreliable). Verapamil can be a better choice for hemiplegic migraine than topiramate.

  50. Robert says: 09/11/201211:27 am

    Dr Mauskop,

    I will get a RBC Mag, and you mention D, (25-hydroxyvitamin D)
    I suffer from 3-5 migraines a week.
    Am using Almotriptan Malate, 12.5 mg on acute set, and daily Diltiazem 240 for prevention- will try the 400 mg oxide now to see.

    Am seeing my Dr regularly, and will get these tests done and possible see a Neurologist. Cat scans are fine.
    Thanks for all your help on this site, I hope the Mg works,

    Regards to all and good luck in our search for help.

  51. Marie says: 09/16/20126:09 pm

    Dr Mauskop

    About 3years ago a burning feeling in the top part of my R leg started and in time it got worst and to the side of my leg. Then pain in my groin started. It’s a burning and sudden sting feeling. The sting attack is not always at the same spot. The pain is definitely in the soft tissue. Then the other groin started. Both legs became weak and I can’t clime stairs up or down. Can’t get up from a chair or from the bed without pain and stiffness. Couldn’t walk properly or sleep on my sides. My back pain got worst. I spend thousand of $.. The doctors still don’t know what it is. I had cortisone injections, pain killers, voltarine, Naprocsone. It did help but I have to take it constantly and am affecting my stomach. One said its Arthritis, another said a virus in my muscles, and another said Lupus. Off to the Spinal surgeon, maybe it comes from my back. No, that is not the problem. I had physiotherapy. It did not help. I went in a depression stage. That was not good. All my blood test came back, normal even Magnesium, Calcium and B12 test are normal. The doctors gave up on me.
    I found a doctor that said lets try Nupentin . In the first few days there was a change. I start off with 1 twice a day and later 3 a day and then 2 twice a day. By that time I started getting dizzy and then it was back to 3 a day. Yes it was helping but still not good enough.
    A month later my mum said to try Magnesium. I started Magnesium 75mg with 25mg Potassium Supplement, 3 times a day. In the first week it all changes. Now after 3 months, it is all under control. Even my back pain is gone, I sleep better, go for an hour walk every 2nd day. My groin pain is nearly gone. My whole body and mind is better. Last month I painted the house outside.
    I live in New Zealand and the soil has no minerals.
    I do realize that I will have to take this for a long time and then try reduce it. That is better that pain killers.

  52. Dr. Mauskop says: 09/16/20127:19 pm

    Glad to hear of your remarkable recovery due to magnesium. Blood tests for magnesium (and vitamin B12) are notoriously inaccurate, so your story is typical. You seem to have responded to a small dose of magnesium since the usual recommended daily dose is 320 mg for women and 420 mg a day for men. There is no reason to try to reduce or stop taking it – our bodies need regular replenishment of magnesium and other minerals and vitamins.

  53. Marie says: 09/16/20128:35 pm

    Thanks Dr.Mauskop.
    I still takes the Nupentin. Maybe I can reduce that a little and see how it feels. I was thinking of taking more Mag. because the pain is 90% gone, but was affraid. I do take my calcium.
    I am a women, 65 and will work my way through this.
    Thank you.

  54. Sylvia Rivera says: 09/18/20129:25 pm

    Dr. Mauskop:

    I am currently taking magnesium oxide 500 mg and vitamin B 400 (riboflavin) for migraine headaches. I am also on botox and take fiorinal when I feel a headache/migraine coming on. Are there any other supplements that you would recommend that I include with this regimen?

  55. Dr. Mauskop says: 09/18/20129:43 pm

    Several supplements and herbs have been reported to help headaches – boswellia, CoQ10, feverfew, and other. Since I cannot give individual advice to anyone I don’t know, I have to tell you that you should onsult your doctor before taking any of these supplements.

  56. Monica says: 09/19/201210:02 pm

    Is it possible to build up a tolerance to intravenous magnesium infusions? I have been getting them monthly for over a year now. First at the NyHeadache center until my insurance was no longer accepted, and now with a Dr. who used to work at your center. I noticed a great improvement for many months. Although I still suffered from migraines they were not as severe and the vomiting stopped for a while. Now they are back full force and Maxalt is not as effective as it used to be.
    Also, do you think that Atrophic Gastritis can create absorption problems with IV magnesium?
    All the best – Monica

  57. Dr. Mauskop says: 09/19/201210:10 pm

    It is not possible to build up tolerance, but it is possible that you are no longer deficient in magnesium, although if you have atrophic gastritis it is unlikely. A more likely explanation is that there might be another reason for worsening headaches. You need to discuss it with your doctor. You may also want to call our office to see if we again accept your insurance since we do accept many different ones.

  58. Bryan says: 09/20/20121:18 pm

    I just recently started taking magnesium for my migraines. I suffer from migraine with aura, which is really debilitating. I was on topamax for years before I just couldn’t take it anymore, the side effects were affecting my life and my job. So I got off of it and for about 6 months I was ok, just a migraine here and there. Here recently they have gotten much worse, and come in clusters. When I get one, I would have 5 more that week+… About a month ago I started seeing a new neurologist that put me on a low dose anti-depressant and she also recommend magnesium, butterbur, and riboflavin. For the last month I have been migraine FREE(knock on wood, thank the good lord)!!! At first I did experience a little diarrhea, but I am more “normal” now than I have ever been. Anyone who TRULY suffers from migraines knows that not everything works the same for everybody. I highly recommend you at least try the natural supplements, the side effects are extremely mild compared to dopamax! I now take a low dose anti-depressant, magnesium supplements, and Migra-Eeze(butterbur & riboflavin) for my migraines and have had a great month!

  59. Rita says: 09/26/201212:58 am

    Hello Dr. Mauskop,

    I have been taking 600mg of magnesium citrate for about 3 months. I believe it has helped with a reduction in pain and frequency of my migraines. However, it is slowing my heart rate and lowering my already low blood pressure. My heart rate is now 54bpm and my BP hovers around 99/54. This makes me extremely exhausted and dizzy all the time.

    I also take 1000mcg of methylcobalamin (B-12) and was taking 3mg of Omega-3. I stopped the Omega-3 thinking it was thinning my blood too much and causing symptoms.

    I take 600mg of calcium and 5000IU D3 daily.

    I was diagnosed with diastolic dysfunction last year and I wonder if 600mg of magnesium citrate is slowing down my heart that already has some difficulty emptying a chamber completely.

    I hate to give up magnesium. I stopped it for two days and was hit by an awful migraine.

  60. Noel says: 10/16/201211:48 am

    I am a patient of Ulcerative colitis (UC) and migraine. None of the fancy migraine medications (esp. triptans) work for my migraine and NSAIDs work like charm But I can not take them because of UC. I have been reading on PubMed about alternatives and there are tons (with a lot of IFs attached to it)

    I am taking Verapamil as a prophylactic (320mg/day) and have tried Butterbur (from Swanson). It did not help. I tried CoQ10 (400mg) daily from Puritan’s Pride, it did not help. I would like to try Mg but there are so many different salts that you just get lost in that mess. I honestly think that supplement industry should also be regulated same as prescription drugs. There is no quality control so you have no idea whose stuff is good so I usually stick to USP verified supplements but here is the case that you don’t know which salt is to be used.

    I checked bioavailability studies and all talk differently. Some say MgO is as good as a rock with only 4% bioavailability. MgCl2 and citrates seem to be better but not too sure and then there are other fancy stuff like 5-oxoproline and chelates. I wonder if even manufacturers know the benefits of it!!

    Finally, I am settling down with citrate, will start with 200-x-200mg daily. If I don’t see any effects in 3 months, I will jack it up to 200-200-200mg and wait for another 3 months to see the effect.

    My docs are pushing me for Botox but I ain’t gonna go that way. Its my last resort.

  61. Dr. Mauskop says: 10/17/20128:34 pm

    If oral magnesium does not work it may be because your magnesium level is normal or because your gut does not absorb magnesium, which is common in patients with colitis, IBS and other GI problems. Such patients are also more likely not to tolerate magnesium and develop diarrhea. It is worth trying an intravenous infusion of 1 gram of magnesium sulfate, which can provide immediate relief that can last a month. I agree with your doctor regarding Botox because it is more effective and much safer than any oral drug.

  62. WT says: 10/24/201211:30 pm

    I have been taking magnesium chloride, 520 mg for a year. It was recommended because I had a kidney stone in 2011. I had no side effects or diarrhea for the past year. In the last month I have had that problem. I noticed that if I did not take the magnesium for a day I seemed to improve. Then on days I took it I had the problem again. I plan to stop the magnesium for a week and see what happens. I find it odd that I had no issues at all for a year and now possibly do. Makes me think the diarrhea is not from the magnesium. But the test will be if I improve over the next week, then I will take it again and see what happens. The proof will be in the pudding so to speak.

  63. Nichole says: 10/30/20125:57 pm

    You say that Botox helps. Where do they do the injections if you get the Botox? Do you have to go see your doctor for the Botox injections? I also heard getting some kind of injection in the back of your neck also helps, but that is scary to me cause thats too close to my spinal cord. What do you think?

  64. Dr. Mauskop says: 10/30/20127:32 pm

    Botox is injected all around the head, including the forehead, temples, back of the head, neck and shoulders. You do have to see a neurologist who knows how to inject Botox for chronic migraines and not a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Injections in the back of the head are usually nerve blocks and can be also effective, but they last a short time, while Botox lasts 3 months and is safer.

  65. Dr. Mauskop says: 10/30/20127:37 pm

    You may want to try different salts of magnesium – chelated (aspartate, gluconate, diglycinate) or MagTab SR. Some of our patients who do not tolerate oral magnesium come once a month for an IV infusion of magnesium.

  66. Chad says: 11/01/201210:45 pm

    What are your thought on Epsom salts or magnesium oil spray to increase absorption?

  67. Dr. Mauskop says: 11/07/20125:56 pm

    Epsom salts is magnesium sulfate, which is often used in baths. It is supposed to help relieve muscle soreness and we do know that magnesium is a good muscle relaxant. There is no evidence that significant amounts of magnesium are absorbed through the skin, so for the treatment of migraine or cluster headaches, magnesium should be taken orally or intravenously. Swallowing Epsom salts or using it in an enema, and in one reported case, just gargling can result in excessive amounts of magnesium in the body, which can be dangerous. Magnesium spray is also unlikely to get absorbed in sufficient amounts.

  68. Janie C says: 11/23/201212:48 pm

    I just downloaded your Migraine Diary app. I am approximately 2+ years postmenopausal. My (primarily) hormonal migraines resolved for a time but now seem to have returned and not sure why. That’s why I thought if I keep a diary perhaps I can target some triggers. Sumatriptan at a low dose (25 mg) usually relieves them, but as I get older, I wonder about the side effects (I typically do experience increased heart rate w/sumatriptan). May try at least to get a magnesium level done to see if that may be the culprit too — with aging, I think your absorption of minerals probably decreases.

  69. Dr. Mauskop says: 11/23/20125:27 pm

    If sumatriptan causes heart rate increase you may want to ask your doctor about trying other triptans, such as rizatriptan (Maxalt), eletriptan (Relpax), zolmitriptan (Zomig) and other. Regular magnesium level (serum level) is unreliable – you can have a higher level and still be deficient. RBC magnesium level is a little more accurate, but not entirely. We recommend to most of our patients with migraine headaches to try taking magnesium without a blood test. Other deficiencies which may contribute to migraine headaches are vitamin B12, CoQ10, and other.

  70. DAG says: 11/25/20129:27 am

    For me, dealing with headaches has been a multiple-pronged endeavor. I use Celtic Sea Salt, plenty of water and PURE encapsulations Magnesium (glycinate) and some daily exercise, plus meditation.

    This is what I do. First, I pay attention of my body. If and when I wake up during the middle of the night, I often get up to use the bathroom, then I will drink a full glass of clean water and lie back down. I practice ZEN so I don’t resist anything that comes into my thoughts. Now as I am lying there, if I notice that my heart is running faster than normal OR if I’m experiencing body-tension, the next night before bedtime I will put into a glass of water 1/2 tsp of the mentioned salt (it is that grey, wet salt that I use from a health food store). Then place that by my bed for when I arise. I then take this salted water. When I then get out of bed, I straightway will consume several glasses of water and more during the day, always keeping my urine a light-yellow. This will prevent any dehydration. Before retiring, I sit for a bit and become aware of my body tension. If it is up there, I then take one tablet of Magnesium and go to bed.

    I used to have severe headaches…waking up with them. I have found that using the above two items to work wonders for me. Yes, I still get headaches but now most infrequently and never more than a #1 or #2 pain level.

    On another front, I also now spend time in daily mediation and being aware of what in life I am resisting and then learning how to deal with it…learning how to be more present to the moment. Do I think that my method will work for everyone? I wonder. But I do think that for those lucky few who are very ‘body aware,’ you will.

    A good book that helped me on this journey was called, “Focusing.”

    What I’ve said above may be not very clear. If anyone is interested in communicating with me directly, my email is: surfingacct@me.com.

  71. Susan says: 11/27/20121:39 am

    I take 600 of magnesium daily and it has changed my life. No more migraines and missed days of work and no side effects, unbelievable!

  72. Mireya says: 12/01/20122:24 pm

    Hi I take magnesium 500 mg daily for migriaine associated vertigo and nortriptaline 25mg. I started taking both at the same time. I noticed an improvenment with my headaches and dizzies. I noticed how my stool was softer, I also started noticing stomach pain spasms and bloating, and had dificulty breathing. So i stopped taking magnesium 500 because was reading side effects and because after having bowel movement on day 49 taking mag I saw blood inside toilet after using it and i freaked( my bowels were smooth). Can long term use magnesium effect/ my GI? And should I continue to take Magnesium 500mg maybe everyother day instead of everyday? Please help I was getting my life back.

  73. Florence Maguire says: 01/09/20138:46 am

    What type of magnsium works best? my daughter is having a test today of Cervical Medial branch block after a myriad of tests-MRI, CAt scans, been to doctors, dentists, chiropractors, neurologists and now pain management doctors where she is having the above test. Her headaches are excrutiating and has interfered with her job and family life. The doctors have not been able to pinpoint the cause of her problem and it is unbearable not just for her but her entire family. (she is 47 and has been told that the M RI showed a stroke which of course, never gave any indication of same) Nothing works for her headaches but Advil which she was eating like candy. Will magnesium help?

  74. Dr. Mauskop says: 01/10/201311:32 pm

    Magnesium is worth trying, but she should check with her doctor first. I usually start with 400 mg of magnesium oxide daily, with food. Botox injections may be another good option for her if she suffers from chronic migraines.

  75. Sandy says: 01/11/20134:43 pm

    I get a migraine when I get done jogging. I have been running for over 10 yrs. I have get one when I get really hot or I try to run faster than usually or sometimes I don’t even know why. I use to think it was because my iron was too low or too high, cause I always have low iron so then I take iron everyday.
    I don’t want to stop running but this is unreal why I have this.

  76. Florence Maguire says: 01/14/20138:43 am

    I understand Magnesium oxide is not easily absorbed. Would magnesiium malate be a better choice for migrane type headaches? It is difficult to decide which magnesium to take since there are so many. Also, why don’t doctors recommend botox injections if they are so effective? Would it be a benefit to go to a big clinic like John Hopkins for evalution if nothing is helping even the Cervical medial branch block proved negative and we are t wits end. Thank you

  77. Christina Scholl says: 01/15/20131:58 pm

    My daughter was diagnosed with CDH,but will have Migraine twice a week where she cannot attend school. She is just turning 13 ,and this all started when she was 10. She has Optic Nerve Edema and has had CT, MRI, MRV along with blood tests,and spinal tap. Her OP was 17 and Neurologist could not diagnose IH (Intracranial Hypertension) unless she was a 20. I recently heard about Magnesium helping Sufferers,and was concerned with the dosage? She currently takes Amitriptyline 10mg,and Vit D3 …. Thank you for any suggestions.

  78. Dr. Mauskop says: 01/16/20137:18 pm

    I cannot make specific recommendations, but the usual dose of magnesium for the prevention of migraine headaches is 400 mg a day with food. It can be magnesium oxide, chelated magnesium (gluconate, aspartate, diglycinate) and other, but it has to be without calcium.

  79. Dionne Welch says: 01/17/201310:29 am

    I live in Canada, and don’t have access to Migralex. I am taking Magnesium daily, which has helped with my migraines, but I am very sensitive to barometric pressure, so I do still get migraines sometimes due to this. My question is, do you recommend taking magnsium with aspirin at the same dosages available in Migralex, for people who aren’t able to buy your product?

  80. Dr. Mauskop says: 01/17/20139:18 pm

    Yes, you can take magnesium with aspirin, although it may not provide as quick or as reliable relief since Migralex was formulated to dissolve very quickly and delivers the right amounts of magnesium and aspirin. You can improve the speed of absorption of magnesium if you take it in a liquid form – it is sold in a powder that you dissolve in water. “Calm” is one of the US brands of powdered magnesium. If you take this combination of aspirin with liquid magnesium on top of the daily supplement there is a risk of getting too much magnesium which can lead to diarrhea.

  81. Dionne Welch says: 01/19/201310:40 am

    Thank you for your response to my question a few days ago. I am also wondering about the safety of taking feverfew and aspirin together? I am currently taking 250mg/day of feverfew, and would like to try aspirin when I have a migraine. I have read that they both act as blood thinners. If a person is otherwise healthy, and not on any other blood thinning meds, is it safe to take feverfew and aspirin together?

  82. […] Magnesium – Dr. Oz believes that magnesium relaxes arteries and muscles in the […]

  83. Priya says: 03/19/20143:43 pm

    I get migraine attacks almost 2-3 times a week. I’ve been prescribed Magnesium by my neurologist . I’m confused between Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Malate ? Which one is better for migraines and fibromyalgia?

  84. Dr. Mauskop says: 03/19/20143:59 pm

    I would try magnesium glycinate

  85. Andrew McVagh says: 11/05/20148:31 pm

    I’ve been taking magnesium glycinate and magnesium malate with good results, but I’ve read a couple things recently that talked about magnesium chloride.

    Does anyone have experience with chloride and whether it works better or worse for migraines than other types of magnesium?

  86. Dr. Mauskop says: 11/06/20144:44 am

    I would stick with what works. Magnesium chloride does work for some migraine sufferers, but the response varies from person to person.

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