Q. My 13-year-old daughter suffers from migraines, sometimes lasting for five days. The neurologist has controlled them up to now with ibuprofen and a caffeinated soda, but that is no longer working.
They want to put her on an anti-epilepsy drug, but that makes me uncomfortable. Is there anything more natural?
I have a hard time with pharmaceuticals that I think are being tested on the public, but as a mother I would do just about anything to stop her pain! I look forward to any information you can send me.
A. We appreciate your concerns since there can be side effects with anti-epilepsy medications. Your daughter should see a headache specialist, preferably one with experience treating teens.
Biofeedback is a safe and potentially helpful approach (Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, Suppl. 3, July, 2010). Other ways to prevent migraines without drugs include acupuncture, magnesium, Coenzyme Q10, riboflavin, and herbs such as feverfew and butterbur. To facilitate a discussion with her doctor, we are sending you our Guide to Headaches and Migraines. It contains information on the pros and cons of drugs and details about other treatments.