Category: Preventive Treatments

Migraine preventives : doses, side effects and contra-indications

Migraine Canada is a patient association, not a treating health care provider. MC cannot provide medical advice. Nevertheless, basics on medications are public knowledge and many people ask about this type of medical information. This table is given as general reference. Any decision to take…

Botox for migraines: how does it work and how effective is it?

What is Botox? Botox is a protein called Onabotulinum toxin A. In nature, this protein is produced by a bacteria, Clostridium Botulinum. The protein used for medical therapy is a purified form.  Botox has been used for many years for wrinkles or to treat strabismus,…

Botox side effects and risks

Is Botox dangerous? «toxin» sounds scary  Botox is a protein, purified from a bacteria called Clostridium Botulinum. It blocks neurotransmission, which means it stops the nerves talking to their targets (muscles, sweat glands, skin receptors). See more on how Botox works here. (See this post)…

Botox : coverage and access in Canada

What is Botox? Botox has been used for many years for wrinkles or to treat spasticity, excessive sweating, hyperactive bladder, hemifacial hemispasm, and dystonia. Botox is a protein, a purified botulinum toxin called Onabotulinum toxin A.  To read more on Botox mechanism and effectiveness (See…

CGRP monoclonal antibodies : summary and effectiveness

Dr Elizabeth Leroux, MD, FRCPC  October 2019  Disclaimer: this information is based on published data but may not be applicable to your specific medical situation. This information does not replace a medical opinion provided  in person after a full evaluation and examination. Discuss ALL medical…

CGRP Monoclonal Antibodies: cost, access and coverage

Disclaimer: this information is provided as a general overview of a complex topic. It can be hard to know which medicines you would have to pay for yourself. There might also be changes in Patient Support Programs and this information may become outdated. Ask your…

CGRP monoclonal antibodies (MABs): risks and side effects

Disclaimer: this information is based on published data but may not be applicable to your specific medical situation. This information does not replace a medical opinion performed in person after a full evaluation and examination. Discuss ALL medical decisions with your health care provider. As…

Cannabis for migraine: science, effectiveness and risks

How can the cannabis plant influence our brains? Our brains have a cannabinoid system. This system is present also in animals. It plays an important role in the regulation of other brain systems. It regulates emotions, hunger, movement, cognition and pain. The cannabinoid system has…

Navigating the World of Supplements for Migraine

While many supplements have some evidence for benefit in treating migraine (such as magnesium and vitamin B2), knowing exactly which supplements to select and how to use them safely can be overwhelming given the hundreds of formulations available. The following are a few key tips…

Will I take preventives all my life?

When should I consider a preventive treatment for migraine?  First and foremost, YOU are the one who should make this decision, based on your personal situation. There is no official absolute rule. Your physician or health care provider can discuss options with you.  Clues that…

Long term risks of migraine preventives

Are there risks associated with migraine preventives on the long term?  It is not rare to stop migraine preventives after a trial.  80% of people with Chronic Migraine have stopped the preventive medications they were trying at 1 year. Lack of effectiveness and side effects…

I have been told there is «nothing else to do»…now what?

Are there people with migraine who just don’t get better despite appropriate treatment?  Every disease has severe forms. In every disease, there are people who do not respond to treatments. People with cancer still die if the treatments do not work. People with refractory migraine…

Natural supplements for migraine

Different nutraceuticals and supplements have been studied for migraine prevention. These products are often perceived as safer and «more natural». Overall, supplements are active substances and should be managed exactly like medications.  A few comments can be made on supplements.  There are multiple brands of…

List of migraine preventives: classes and mechanism of action

«What’s the best preventive for migraine»?  Sadly, there is no answer to this question.  Many different approaches exist, and it is not possible to predict which one will work for one person in particular.  For each option, there are people who do not improve (non-responders),…

How to try a preventive – Top Questions and Answers

Preventive medications are taken daily for several months in order to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. Should you try one? Here are some common questions and answers about migraine preventives!  How do I know if I need a preventive medication?   There is no…