All migraineurs should be treated with magnesium

I agree - definitely concerned about the calcium issue… I did some digging yesterday and found several articles about it. This one covers the basics:

Thanks for the info Scott! (followed your twitterlinks :slight_smile: ) Looks like the magnesium-info is also rather relevant for women in perimenopause?
I am gonna try the supplement first and if it doesnt do a thing or causes dhiaroea >.< i will try the oil!

One site said a relatively uncommon SE of Mg overdose is vertigo.

“Magnesium oil,” for folks who like me have never heard of the stuff previously, just means a solution of magnesium chloride in water. Apparently it has a greasy feel.

Some of the sites that indicate magnesium is useful for migraine or seizure disorders talk of serum magnesium not being a very good indicator of tissue concentration. Does anyone–Scott, perhaps?–know whether this is solid fact? If it is, how can we test for magnesium load? I’d hate to have to go with, “Try it and see what happens” if this twist is for real. I’ve been digging through the literature, and at least low levels of serum magnesium seem to be solidly implicated.

My chronic symptoms have been mostly relieved since I began magnesium supplementation several months ago. I take one 250mg tablet with breakfast and one with dinner. I’m sold!

I decided to up my dose; I’d been taking 250 mg at night, plus I get 50 in the morning in my multivitamin. Switched to 400 mg at night over a week ago with no ill effects. I’ve even been cutting back on my Topamax - my doc says to take one or two 100 mg pills at bedtime, so I have a lot of leeway with it as far as he’s concerned. I’ve been doing the Migraine diet for a few months now, too, so I’m hoping I can get away with less “dopamax!”


The FL-41 glasses made a significant dent in my headache frequency/severity, so even if they’re not totally eliminated, I’m pleased with how much better I’m doing and willing to see if more magnesium can substitute for some of the Topamax.

I was actually seeing Dr. Mauskop (who wrote this paper) until he stopped taking my insurance. He is a big believer in magnesium and is the creator of the migralief pills you can buy online, which are magnesium-based. I took them for a while and saw no difference in my dizziness and it was also upsetting my stomach, so we tried magnesium shots. That is a weird shot to get, let me tell you - feels like different parts of your body are momentarily burning as it goes through you. Not anything you can’t handle, though. I think it might have helped a bit with energy, which is also an issue for me, but it didn’t do anything for the dizziness. It did not, however, cause me any stomach issues (unlike the pills), so it might be a route to consider if you want to try magnesium again and you’re worried about your stomach, Scott.

If you read the booklet by JOHNS HOPKINS you will see they recommend trying :
400 mg magnesium
400 mg B2
Coenzyme Q10

My daughters neurologist recommended B2. She has been taking 200 mg of B2 for the past 4 months. Her latest attack was much easier as far as the headache but shestill suffered from dizziness.
She gets attacks regularly every 2 months so we don’t have a lot of experience.
I hope the next attack (coming soon0 won’t be so bad also.

Here’s what neurologist and skeptic Steve Novella says about magnesium for migraine (and some mention of B2 and COQ10 as well). In a nutshell he gives it tepid support:

Here’s the guts of it:

— Begin quote from ____

Most of my patients have not noticed a significant improvement with magnesium. While it is safe, in the doses used for migraines (400-600mg per day) diarrhea can be a significant side effect, and many of my patients stopped using it or had to decrease the dose for that reason.

While the evidence is preliminary, it tends to be positive and so magnesium is a plausible and generally benign treatment option (if you don’t get diarrhea). It may have a role more as adjunctive treatment (in addition to other treatment) rather than stand-alone treatment because the effect is modest.

Typically I will check the magnesium level in patients with migraine and supplement magnesium if it is low. These patients may represent a subset that responds to magnesium, and in any case they are low in magnesium and probably should be supplemented anyway.

Overall magnesium has a minor role to play in the management of migraine. We could benefit from larger studies to more definitively clarify its role in the various clinical situations I outlined above, primarily because it is inexpensive and relatively benign.

I do not think that the evidence supports using magnesium as a primary treatment for migraine before other more effective treatments. However, some patients may wish to give it a try in the hopes of avoiding medication, and that is reasonable.

— End quote

Would a diet rich in magnesium not be just as good? For example pumpkin seeds daily? What is the reccommended amount of magnesium to see a result?

It’s my understanding that it is far better to get the majority of your calcium from food, therefore it makes sense to me that getting magnesium from food also is better. When I was out of magnesium a while back? I started craving pumpkin seeds. Go figure.

I take a supplement with calcium and magnesium; it has 1000mg Cal and 400mg Mag in 3 tablets, so I take on in the AM and one at noon. The rest of my calcium I get from yogurt and vegetables, one reason I have a hard time giving up yogurt, and then at night I take a separate 400mg mag supplement.

You can get about half a day’s calcium in 2 tablespoons of black strap molasses. So if you eat a hot cereal maybe, like steel cut oats, for breakfast like I do, you could probably add the molasses & get most of your calcium there & figure out the rest during the day. It’s important to use the good stuff and not crap mixed with corn syrup. Thinking of doing this myself, but so many of my plans get lost in the brain fog…Same kind of thing with magnesium, but I think I would still take a supplement at night.

There is an excellent website called World’s Healthiest Foods where you can search for calcium sources, and magnesium sources, recipes, all kinds of good stuff.



Im on day 10 of a massive migraine that wont budge with painkillers and the nori I was taking has done nothing at all. So Im typing this while trying not to be sick and keeping one hand over my eyes to give me some relief!
I am on the hunt online for magnesium from my usual supplement provider! I just checked my multivitamin and mineral and it only has 100mg of mg in it plus calcium too so I reckon ill scrap that pill and try a stand alone 400mg magnesium pill with a better multivit added on. I’d rather risk a bit of diarrhea and maybe get some relief than put up with these symptoms day after day!

Thanks for the information guys :slight_smile:


My multi has 200 mg, I take that in the AM and I take 400 at night. No diarrhea from that dosage and I’ve actually gone up to 900 mg total with out any problems.

Good luck poor thing I feel for ya!

Hi Pod,
Daily migraine headaches are the pits - pain & nausea non-stop. I feel for you as I had terrible daily migraine headaches for 3 months before I was diagnosed with mav. What painkillers are you using?
When I got my diagnosis & found this site one of the first things I did was get Dr Buchholz’s book "Heal Your Headache’. I also read the literature by Dr Silver & a couple of other mav specialists. They all say Stop the painkillers! I found this really scary as I was taking Naramig (GP continued to prescribe not telling me it could cuase ‘rebound’ headaches). I wasn’t taking any codeine products as I’m allergic to them. At least the Naramig gave me some relief for a few hours.
I felt I didn’t have any choice - stop the painkillers or continue to have migraine headaches every day. So I ditched Naramig & Panadol (wasn’t on any preventative meds at the time) - it was very hard but I got through it and the daily headaches stopped. Began taking nortriptyline & as I upped the dose so the migraines eased off.
I’d been taking magnesium 400mg for a few years before I was hit with mav. I think it did help with my monthly migraines so have continued to take it. Hope you don’t have to suffer for much longer. Now on 100mg Dothep (also a try-cyclic) and rarely have the migraine headaches. Still working on the balance/dizziness though!

My neurotologist okayed Mg, max 400 mG AM and PM. I’ve worked up to 240 AM and PM, with no clear MAV benefit as yet. In fact, I seem to be worse. I am sticking it out for a while. One hoped-for benefit has arrived: my bowels have normalized, after apparently having been choked up by some other part of my drug regimen.

Here in the UK it doesn’t seem to be common practice to subscribe a standard selection of nutriceuticals (magnesium, B2, coenzyme Q10) as it is in some other countries. Neuro I saw eventually suggested the other two but not magnesium and I often wondered what each was supposed to do. Magnesium I discovered just today is supposedly a muscle relaxant so maybe that figues. It could be useful

It seems like many people recommend taking fairly large doses of magnesium, B2, and coenzyme Q10.

Would it be best to start small or perhaps just start with the magnesium?

My migraine is likely connected to a nerve issue but I am looking into having that properly evaluated. Long story short I had a tumour in the cerebellum and very close to the 8th nerve.

In some countries it would seem standard procedure for people to take large quantities of each for the duration. However most people who come on here also seem to end up on prescription meds as well so I am never sure what use all these nutraceuticals actually are.

Here in UK prescribing these doesn’t seem common. I was surprised when the last neurologist I saw suggested it to me. I am on Propranolol high dose and looking for further improvement. In those circumstances I was just told to try taking 400mg B2 and 300mg EnzymeQ10, each spread over two doses daily however I was also told to try each individually for two months, definitely not both at once and to quit them unless they showed a good positive result. Personally I decided to try 100mg B2 for a week to see how I got on. I lasted just the one week. It increased my ear pressure and made intermittent mild tinnitus roaringly loud and knocked my balance right back so stopped immediately.

The neuro I saw didn’t rate magnesium at all but each specialist has their own individual opinion. As far as I am aware not all magnesium is created equal. If you search this site you will find much more detailed info about which people that take it prefer. There are many forms. Some cause severe stomach upsets.

I’ve been on Magnesium (600mg) and B2 (400mg) since early Dec. Migraines have been less frequent.

However, I am started to feel a bit nauseated and fatigued.