Understanding and Treating Basilar-Migraine (BTM)- Part II

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Basilar-Type Migraine (BTM) headaches are not your average migraine headache- while many migraines with aura cause symptoms like dizziness, visual distortions, and nausea that can last for 30 minutes, basilar-type migraine attacks come on stronger and more aggressively.  Typical BTM auras include severe vertigo, speech slurring, and impaired walking, lasting up to two hours before shifting into migraine headache mode.


Basilar-type migraine treatment options

Prescribed migraine prevention

  • Triptans and ergotamines are currently not recommended for treating basilar-type migraines, as there is still insufficient evidence proving their safety or efficacy.
  • Some reports indicate that beta-blockers are also to be avoided with BTM headaches.
  • Some migraine specialists may prescribe topiramate for children with BTM headaches.
  • Calcium channel blockers are currently being used to prevent BTM headaches.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, most migraine-prophylaxis drugs may be used for BTM headache symptoms.


Alternative medicine

When considering alternative medicine, it’s important to use herbs and vitamins with care. Always consult your doctor before starting any new migraine management regimen.  When choosing herbs such as butterbur, ensure that the supplement you’re using is free of pesticides and other toxic chemicals, such as pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs).

  • Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) root has been the focus of many studies on migraines with aura.  In one placebo-controlled random study on butterbur, researchers found more promising results with butterbur than with a placebo.
  • Butterbur is as safe for pediatric migraines as other over-the counter products, as evidenced by this study on childhood migraine.
  • In another study natural migraine nutrients, researchers found that including butterbur root, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, magnesium, feverfew, and alpha lipoic acid as part of your migraine management plan produces dramatic results.

Other excellent alternative methods for managing migraines include massage, yoga, acupuncture, biofeedback, and progressive relaxation

Please tell us…

Do you suffer from basilar-type migraines?  What migraine treatments are you currently using, and which ones are the most effective?  Do you have any symptoms that are not covered by this article?  We welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions!

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Read more about migraine treatments:


Migraine Headache Frequently Asked Questions- the Top Ten List

Migraine Pop Quiz: How Well do you Understand your Headaches?

4 Headaches that Require Emergency Intervention


The first placebo-controlled trial of a special butterbur root extract for the prevention of migraine: reanalysis of efficacy criteria- PuMed, NCBI

An extract of Petasites hybridus is effective in the prophylaxis of migraine- PubMed, NCBI

Petasites hybridus root (butterbur) is an effective preventive treatment for migraine

Foods and supplements in the management of migraine headaches- PubMed, NCBI

Butterbur root extract and music therapy in the prevention of childhood migraine: an explorative study- PubMed, NCBI