Beta Blockers for Migraine Prevention

While many of us would rather not have migraines, or to get rid of them in a natural way, sometimes we just have to resort to medication.

There are two approaches to medications – preventatives and pain relievers.  A common preventative is a beta blocker.  Originally beta blockers were used for angina and to reduce blood pressure, by relaxing the blood vessels.  However, they are now also used to help control migraines.

Taking beta blockers

Beta blockers are effective but for them to work you need to keep a few things in mind:

  • Remember to take the medication every day the way your physician prescribed it.  It won’t work if you don’t take it the right way!
  • It can take up to three months of daily dosage to see the maximum benefit; don’t give up if you don’t see immediate results.
  • If a migraine does occur, other pain relief medicine can still be taken.
  • Beta blockers do make you more sensitive to things like sun, cold weather and my also impact your diabetes and allergies.  Make sure when your doctor gives you this medication that you know everything that might impact the effectiveness or safety of your health.

Side Effects of Beta Blockers

Understand there might be side effects from beta blockers (or any medications) including:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lower heart rate
  • Feeling tired
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach Cramps

Keep track of what changes occur for you, and then review with your doctor to see if it is worth the side effect to keep away the migraine.  Do not go off of them without consulting your doctor, you may need to slowly lower the dosage.

When I personally tried beta-blockers I only stayed on them for a couple of weeks, as I did not like the artificially low heart rate it cause, since I enjoy high intensity work outs it messed with how I tracked my exertion levels.

While beta blockers might be an option make sure you are working with a physician to ensure your safety.  Beta-blockers are not for use by patients with low blood pressure; uncontrolled heart failure, heart rhythm issues, a very slow heartbeat, or for certain types of angina.

Remember to continue to keep a migraine diary and monitor migraine activity daily, just because you are preventing does not mean you should stop trying to figure them out.  Remember pain free naturally should be your goal.