Red wine to treat migraines?

Red wine to relieve migraine?  Red wine is a well-known trigger of migraine headaches (although French tend to disagree).  A recent study published in journal Pain found that resveratrol, the active ingredient in red wine which is responsible for its health benefits, has pain relieving properties when given to rats.  There have been no reports in the literature or from my own patients that resveratrol causes headaches and judging from this study, it may in fact help.

35 comments
  1. Riverwatch says: 08/22/201610:46 am

    I was googling to see if I could buy Resveratrol that has red wine extract in it since I am a migraine sufferer and know wine can be a trigger. I don’t drink wine so I have no idea how it would work for me.
    But I wanted to share with these fellow sufferers the thing that has made the biggest difference in avoiding and treating migraine for me.
    I read (therefore it must be true) that Ribofavin (vitamin B2) is prophylactic and therapeutic against migraine. At that time I could not find B2 all by itself so I bought SuperB which contains high dose Riboflavin and it worked. Years of migraine (which were uncharacteristically worsening in middle age) almost erased with Riboflavin! Now I buy B2 as it is now available.
    How it impacted my headaches were: far far far less ofter, much milder when occurring, far shorter duration when they occurred. I don’t even call myself a real migraine sufferer anymore, so profound was the change.
    Nausea still occurs if I get a mild migraine but nothing that incapacitates me.

  2. Dr Singh says: 06/12/201510:51 am

    Hi. I am Dr Singh, a neurologist ( headache specialist) at the University of Kentucky. Recently i saw some patients in my headache clinic, who have had a persistent migraine which seemed to completely disappear after taking a glass of red wine, which is opposite of the expected outcome as it has been shown to precipitate migraine. This intrigued me and i started looking for similar patients and i stumbled upon this blog and found some patients who showed similar signs with red wine or with resveratrol.
    I am looking to compile a small case series of similar patients for medical literature and would really appreciate your help. This is not a common presentation and with your help, it might help us to better understand this and it might benefit other patients. You don’t have to come here at Kentucky and we might just need to see your patient records( migraine related), which could be faxed or scanned and mailed.
    If you want to be part of this case series, your identity will be kept anonymous.

    I am really looking forward to your reply particularly from ” Kelly Stafford, Suzie, Rich, Kim, David, Shelley, RIch, Sharron” or anyone else experiencing the same outcome with red wine.
    If you are interested please contact me on my email tarundsingh6@gmail.com and i can talk to you and discuss further details.
    Thank you for your time,
    Dr Tarun Singh
    University of Kentucky

  3. Kelly Stafford says: 01/04/20148:52 pm

    I have suffered from migraines for 26 years and the only relief from those being prescription migraine relief like sumatriptan, zomig, and maxalt. I had never liked the taste of red wine, but after trying some cabernets, merlots, and zinfandels, I found that I am not having the frequency of migraines which were every month without fail. I can say in the last four months I have suffered from two migraines, the first before I started drinking one glass a day and lasted for 3 days. I believe my headaches are vascular in nature and the red wine definitely prevents them.

  4. Suzie says: 09/11/20139:12 pm

    I am 59 years old and have experienced head pains for the past 6 months. I finally saw a neurologist and he told me I am having trigeminal headaches. They are chronic. Not awful, but very annoying and consuming. I have found that they go away in the evenings when I drink red wine. They usually return the next day, but I can count on the pains disappearing once I have red wine. Perhaps the wine relaxes the blood vessels.

  5. kim says: 10/30/20121:39 am

    I was actually surprised this website came up. I googled red wine making migraines better. I have been experiencing this for some time now and friends have told me I’m crazy that red wine causes migraines :s my migraines are not food/drink related they almost entirely are weather related/pressure changes and I must say red wine is one of the only things that helps when a migraine is not responding to medication. I will be shopping for reservatol asap as I’m starting to feel like a bit of a lush lol

  6. David says: 10/22/20125:44 pm

    The past few months – I have been suffering – and I mean suffering with migraines for several days at a time, with only the odd day of relief.
    Been to the doctors – tried several medications.
    Two weekends ago I had a glass of red wine, thinking that my head couldn’t possibly hurt more than it already does – and for the first time in weeks I woke the next day without the migraine. Same the next day. I didn’t associate the red wine until I thought – better not tempt fate – lay off the red wine. But then I woke with a migraine. Looked at my food diary – the only change was the red wine.
    If I drink a small glass of red wine at night – I wake without a migraine.
    Good to see that this matches several people on this forum.

  7. Shelley says: 05/25/20126:39 pm

    After a migraine building all day, I had a glass of red wine, which lately has been my only relief from migraines. My husband is a pharmacist and has explained why this works for me but I’m not good at explaining….I will say that this has been tested multiple times under various conditions, this is really all that works for me. I used to think I couldn’t drink red wine without getting headaches, but with these migraines ( which seemed triggered by sinus issues) seemed only helped by red wine, unless I take something strong like Lortab, which I rather not do. After just a few good sips, relief sets in.

  8. Dr. Mauskop says: 05/08/201210:29 pm

    If you are ever in the wine country or in Europe I suggest trying local wine – it tends to have fewer sulfites. I personally find that even a cheap table wine in Europe often does not cause a headache, while an expensive imported one does.

  9. Bridg says: 05/08/20126:53 pm

    I am also a migraine sufferer. I have been diagnosed with classic migraines and have anxiety attacks at the onset of them as well… not fun! I strongly dislike side effects, therefore I don’t lilke trying new meds. I stumbled on this site while I was following up on my periodic research for migraine triggers. I love red wine, but I don’t want to risk drinking it and the wine triggering a migraine…. any thoughts on this??

  10. Rich says: 03/22/201211:39 am

    I am back well over a year since my last posting. This is what I have found. If I take Resveratrol supplements I do not have migraines. If I stop my migraines return on about the same frequency as before starting them. I now take a 100mg Micronized capsule daily.

  11. Sharon says: 12/01/20115:37 pm

    Red wine is the only thing that helps my migraine. It goes away, but comes back the next day until a have a glass of wine in the evening.

  12. Dark Grapes for curing Migraines says: 07/05/20116:59 pm

    […] How about dark red wine? http://www.nyheadache.com/blog/?p=93 […]

  13. jessy says: 04/17/20113:44 pm

    I don’t take this resveratol on a regular basis, but what I do is have a small glass of wine when my migrainee starts, works in 10 to 15 minutes where as my perscription doesn’t always work and when it does it takes up to an hour.

  14. Raquel says: 11/30/20101:38 pm

    I get a migraine every month for 3-5 days. Guessing it has something to do with my cycle. Absolutely nothing helps. I haven’t been prescribed any pharms yet. It is day 3 of my migraine and I am so tired of this. It’s 9:30 am and I am about to have a small glass of wine to test this. The reason I googled this is because one time I had this monthly migraine, I noticed that it went away after a glass of Sirah. I don’t have Sirah now but I do have a Merlot. I will update in a little bit.

  15. simon says: 09/18/201010:25 am

    I get rolling migraines for three week stretches. Nothing touches them, multiple drugs and even synthetic narcotic painkillers. One glass of red wine last night and completely gone, shut down. Amazing. It was a last resort that worked for me. After 3 weeks of pain i’ll try resveratrol.

  16. slpaok says: 08/26/20101:57 pm

    The question about Resveratrol increasing/decreasing a migraine may be related to prostaglandin production. For example, in Hemicrania Continua, the headache responds to indometacin but not normal migraine relief like triptans. Indometacin inhibits prostaglandin production.

  17. Rich says: 07/29/20105:04 pm

    Following up on my two previous post about migraine and Resveratrol, I am now nearing one year into taking Resveratrol supplements. I have had one migraine, while on a trip to Las Vegas last April, since starting them! Today I also got some unexpected news. My last A1c test was taken just prior to beginning the Resveratrol. At that time my reading was 5.8. Today I received my latest lab results and A1c was 5.4. That is not a minor change! My diet or exercise has not really been altered during the past year. Resveratrol is a great addition to my health!

  18. Stephen says: 07/16/20103:07 pm

    I was happy to find this site. I am (at 50) experiencing my first full-on migrane for about a week now. Despite the comments people have posted, I am finding that red wine helps my migrane tremendously. At first I thought it was just disinhibition from alcohol, but then I realized that white wine doesn’t have the same effect. I wonder if more is know about treatment with Resveratrol since this posting?

  19. Carolyn says: 04/14/20102:36 pm

    I never get headaches but have had 2 days of head-bursting headaches. Coincidently, I have taken Resveratrol both of those days. Tomorrow, I will not take it and see if it makes a difference. I spent $35 for these pills and I was so looking forward to all of the health benefits. But if it appears Resveratrol is causing the headaches, I’m off of it.

  20. Susan says: 03/20/20104:18 pm

    I have been on Depakote (anti-seizure) and elavil for 11 years to keep my migraines under control. I had only gotten a few migraines over the past 6 months but since I started the resveratrol I have had 5 headaches in the past 3 weeks and I’ve gotton so sensitive to lights and odors my whole life has been affected. For me the problems far outweigh the benefits.

  21. LM says: 03/11/201011:31 pm

    I haven’t had a migraine in 3 years, took Resveratrol for 2 days and got my first migraine in 3 years – coincidence?

  22. Frank says: 02/18/20108:18 pm

    Well, im male, 34 yrs old, taking for the first time Reservatrol and God I can´t stand this migrane!! It has been 3 days now… thanks for this, Ill quit Reservatrol right away…

  23. Rich says: 01/25/20101:00 am

    This is an update from my previous post. It is now January 23 and I am still migraine free. This makes over 5 months without one! The only change has been the Resveratrol twice a day. The thing that is common to the first posts on this topic are that they are from females. Maybe it works for males or Nathan and I are exceptions.

  24. Nathan says: 01/14/20107:31 pm

    I have had migraines for about 15 years. they have been increasing in number for the past two years. I had gotten to the point that I was geting a migraine evry 3 to 5 days. I started to take Purity 12’s rain juice suplament 8 weeks ago and in that time I have only had one migraine. That is when I decided to reserch the Igrediants to see what could give me this benifit. I feel that it is the resveratrol that has helped.

  25. Rich says: 11/11/200911:44 pm

    I have had migraines with aura for 25 years. The first occured when I was 38. I get about 12 a year. Sometimes I will get back to back migraines. I have been taking Walgreens Finest Natural Resveratrol, 160 mg twice a day for over three months. I have not had one migraine since starting it! That is why I Googled and found this site. I also have found my sleep cycle is much improved. I hate to rain on everyone else’s response but it sure is working for me.

  26. Shari says: 11/11/200912:33 pm

    Wow, I was happy to find this page while Googling a connection between resveratrol and Migraines.
    I’ve had migraines for 22 years and take Topamax to keep them under control. I’ve gone 6-8 months before totally migraine free but now have them every 8-10 days. I believe the frequency began when I started taking the resveratrol (brand, NSI) for the health benefits since red wine is not an option. I’m tossing this bottle of resveratrol out, it’s not worth it!
    Thank you everyone, for your in-put!

  27. E.Segel says: 10/27/20095:00 pm

    I ran across this while doing a search to see if my experience with reservatrol was typical. After waking up with a severe headache for 9 days in a row I suspected that reservatrol must be the cause.
    I have experienced migraines for over 20 years but never more than one episode weekly at the very worst, and generally no more than once or twice per month so this was an alarmingly high increase.
    It is the only new addition to my diet/supplement intake.
    I’ve decided to stop taking it to see if the headaches cease.

  28. Jasmine says: 10/07/200910:06 pm

    Reading from all the comments, looks like it doesn’t help easing migraines. But treatments still differ from person to person. What might be a relief to you might not be to others. Still natural treatments are still the best option for migraines because it does not have side effects. Well there maybe, but not as much as other medications.

  29. Bobbi says: 10/02/20099:34 am

    With all the health benefits of resveratrol it would be great to be able to take it without negative side effects. I’ve had migraines since age 17 and over the years have found what triggers them for me: chocolate, msg (and all the other things that go with it; autolyzed this, hydrolyzed that, etc…) and red wine. Resveratrol is often found in vitamins along with grape seed extract so I’m wondering if it might be the extract that causes migraines. Any information would be appreciated!

  30. Toni says: 10/01/20091:06 pm

    I took Resveratrol for a few days and got a migraine (I have had migraines all my life, but not much in the past ten years). I stopped the Resveratrol, but have had a migraine for more than 40 days and had to be hospitalized. I rue the day I took that stuff.

  31. Sherri says: 09/30/20095:22 am

    I too have had headaches since I have been taking reveratrol. I have also started taking however Tumeric Bromelain capsules. I also have been feeling nauseas and had a neck ache.

  32. Dr. Mauskop says: 08/27/20098:08 pm

    It looks like resveratrol can cause headaches, but it would be interesting to know if the 3 of you suffer from migraines or if you normally do not get headaches. Also, what brand the 3 of you tried? It is possible that it is not the resveratrol itself, but an inactive ingredient that is responsible for the headache.

  33. olivia says: 08/27/20096:46 pm

    I am taking Resveratrol for 4 days and have headache since the first day .

  34. robin says: 07/25/20093:41 pm

    Hi Marjorie,
    I just started taking resveratrol about a week ago due to feeling bad from some other bug that I had thinking it would jump start me, I noticed also that I started having strange temple headaches which is not normal for me. I am going to lay off too for a while to see what happens. good luck!

  35. marjorie says: 07/22/200912:19 am

    I have been taking Resveratrol for 9 days and have had a headache since the second day…and they are getting worse. Makes sense- red wine always gives me a headache too. I’m not taking Resveratrol and will see if the headaches stop. Hope So!

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