Beta blockers for heart patients are also popular for preventing migraines; symptoms like pounding headache, nausea, and dizziness, common with chronic migraines, sometimes diminish with reduced heart rate and lower blood pressure. Here are some facts about migraine prevention with beta blockers:
Don’t miss the next installment, which will cover drug interactions and side effects- Preventing Migraines with Beta Blockers, Part 2: Warnings and Tips
Beta blockers for migraine prophylaxis
Beta blockers work by blocking chemicals produced in the adrenal gland, thus lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Doctors prescribe beta blockers for irregular heartbeat, hypertension, heart failure, and angina, but headache specialists may also prescribe them for preventing migraine headaches.
Which beta blockers are best for migraine prevention?
If your neurologist or migraine specialist decides to put you on beta blockers, he will most likely choose one of the following beta blockers for migraine prophylaxis:
*Propranolol hydrochloride (Inderal)
*Metoprolol tartrate (Lopressor, Lopressor LA)
*Metoprolol succinate (Toprol XL)
*Timolol maleate (Blocadren)
How do beta blockers prevent migraines?
It’s unclear exactly how beta blockers prevent migraines, but some headache specialists theorize that it involves their effect on serotonin levels or prostaglandin.
Other medications for high blood pressure
Besides beta blockers, other blood pressure medications include:
*Diuretics (water pills)
*Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), captopril (Capoten), and ramipril (Altace)
*Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB): olmesartan (Benicar), losartan (Cozaar), and valsartan (Diovan)
*Calcium channel blockers: diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor XR), amlodipine (Norvasc), and nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
*Renin inhibitors: Aliskiren (Tekturna), not to be taken with ACE inhibitors or ARBs.
Please tell us…
Do you currently use beta blockers for migraine prophylaxis?
Are you aware of the potential side effects or drug interactions?
If not, please see the next installment, Preventing Migraines with Beta Blockers, Part 2: Warnings and Tips
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Please leave your comments below.
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