Preventative Medicine and Side Effects

Preventative medications can reduce the number and severity of headaches.  Most doctors recommend prescription medications as preventative therapy.  While these medications can be effective they also often cause undesirable side effects.
Some of the more commonly used preventative medications are listed below, along with some of their potential side effects.

  • Antidepressants: nortriptyline, amitriptyline, duloxetine- associated with: Dry mouth, fatigue, loss of sex drive, flat mood
  • B-blockers: propranolol, atenolol, nadolol- associated with: Lightheadedness, fatigue, depression, lack of stamina, slowing of heart rate, exercise intolerance
  • Calcium channel blockers: verapamil- associated with: Gynecomastia, constipation, lightheadedness, chest pain, fatigue
  • Epilepsy medications Valproic acid, gabapentin, topiramate, Lyrica- associated with: Drowsiness, weight gain, tremor, hair loss, osteoporosis, polycystic ovarian disease, pancreatitis, thrombocytopenia, liver failure, numbness, tingling, irritability, fatigue, forgetfulness, taste change
  • Misc other medications: tizanidine, memantine — associated with: Fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, lightheadedness

Medication side effects are one of the major reasons my patients will not want to use a prescription medication. And one of the major reasons that over 50% of people suffering from migraine have tried an alternative or natural therapy.