In our last issue, we mentioned topiramate -- an FDA-approved prescription drug used for migraine prevention. Several of you wanted to know more about how this Rx drug compares to natural alternatives. You may be surprised by what you learn in the article below.

We also share information on a home remedy that may ease the pain of attacks and a chiropractic therapy that might help you experience fewer migraines.

As always, please let us know about any questions or topics you'd like us to address in upcoming issues. We enjoy hearing from you!

Tina Sanders

Linpharma Customer Education

Why NOT Take Topiramate as a Migrain Preventive?

Topiramate is routinely prescribed by doctors for migraine prevention. Is there any reason not to go with that advice? There may indeed be reasons not to. Let's look closer. Plus, as we look at topiramate, keep in mind that you should ask these same four questions about other Rx preventives (such as Botox) and any non-drug alternatives as well.

1. What other health conditions do you have? When considering any drug, supplement or therapy, you need to understand how it could affect other health conditions or issues. For example, if you consume alcohol, have low blood pressure, kidney stones, or a mood disorder or you are diabetic, pregnant or nursing, topiramate may not be the right choice in a preventive.

2. What other drugs do you take? This is important because drug interactions can have a direct impact on your safety and the effectiveness of other medications you're taking. According to, a total of 583 drugs are known to interact with topiramate. Here are just a few examples: It can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. It interacts negatively with metformin (for diabetes) and lithium (a mood stabilizer). In combination with NSAIDs like ibuprofen it raises the risk of bleeding.

3. What side effects are possible? Of course you want to look at serious side effects. For topiramate, these can include mood changes, anorexia, nervousness, eye pressure and confusion and-more rarely-a drop in sexual desire, loss of hearing and bladder control, bloating and stomach pain. In addition, what less severe side effects can you tolerate? For instance, topiramate can increase menstrual pain and cause dizziness and drowsiness.

4. How effective is it? Prescription drugs are not necessarily more effective than natural alternatives. In fact, a Swedish study shows that daily aerobic exercise is as effective for prevention as topiramate. Another natural prevention alternative, butterbur (specifically the Petadolex® brand) has been studied in high-quality clinical trials and determined to be so effective that the American Academy of Neurology guidelines on migraine prevention list it as "Level A" (effective) for doctors to recommend to migraine patients.

As we noted at the outset, you should ask these four questions about anything you are using to treat or prevent your migraines. Information on interactions and side effects is available at sites like or check with your doctor. We've put together a comparison tool that you may also find helpful. CLICK HERE.

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When a Migraine Strikes, Sniff This

When a migraine strikes, sometimes you just need to turn out the lights and lie down. When you do, it might help to inhale the scent of lavender essential oil. Made from the flowers of the plant, lavender oil has for centuries been a home remedy for headache pain, including migraines.

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How does it work? According to WebMD, lavender oil contains compounds that seem to have a calming effect that can-when inhaled or rubbed on skin-relax certain muscles. The calming effect also promotes sleep, which may provide additional help in weathering an attack.

CAUTION: Lavender oil is toxic if ingested. Keep it away from your mouth and eyes.

TRY THIS: Gently rub drops of lavender oil on your temples, behind your ears and at the back of your head just above your neck. Lie down and breathe in the calming scent.
Can Atlas Orthogonal Treatment Ward Off Migraines?

A reader told us that she is having significant success using three prevention strategies: (1) taking Petadolex®, (2) using dietary supplements targeted at supporting her nervous system and (3) having atlas orthogonal chiropractic treatments. What is "atlas orthogonal?"

The atlas is a vertebra located directly under the head, connecting the head to the rest of the spine.
It supports the head most efficiently in the orthogonal, or neutral position. It can be pushed out of alignment by anything from slips and falls to poor posture and sleeping habits. The body tries to compensate, which can throw the rest of the spine out of alignment.

With the misalignment, nerves get compressed, muscles spasm and blood vessels dilate or constrict too much. As we know, these are the same types of reactions that seem to trigger migraine pain. Chiropractic procedures can help realign the spine by returning the atlas vertebra to the orthogonal position.

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nutritional supplement

All-in-one, clinical strength supplement for correcting Magnesium, B2 and CoQ10 deficiencies associated with neurological discomfort.
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