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Clinician’s Corner: Feverfew

Feverfew—might have some effect in migraines

Petasites is a genus of flowering plants in the sunflower family, that are commonly referred to as butterburs and coltsfoots. Feverfew is ranked #19 as the most often used herb in the US. This indicates that it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties.

EVIDENCE FOR USE:

  • MIGRAINE HEADACHES: Some research suggests that feverfew may be helpful in preventing migraine headaches; however, results have been mixed and more evidence is needed from well-designed studies. Some studies show feverfew to be no more effective than placebo.
    Other studies show patients reported a decrease in severity and frequents of headaches, as well as a decrease in nausea. American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society suggest that a feverfew extract may be effective and should be considered for migraine prevention. Petadolex® is the brand most studied, and we can order it from our warehouse if you are interested.

FEVERFEW PRECAUTIONS:

  • If allergic to other members of the daisy family (which includes ragweed and chrysanthemums) are more likely to be allergic to feverfew.
  • Pregnancy and nursing: NOT recommended during pregnancy, because it may cause contractions.
  • People taking blood thinners should use feverfew with caution because feverfew may potentiate the activity of anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin®)
  • Side effects: Common: stomach upset

Your Thompson Pharmacist Says:  Feverfew got its name from the Greeks, who thought it reduced fever, but is of minimal value.  In the 1980’s it was frequently recommended along with magnesium and Riboflavin (B2) for the prevention of migraine headaches. Many of our local neurologists start patients with Magnexium Oxide and Riboflavin (B-2) as initial therapy to prevent migraines.

If you have any questions about prescription or over the counter products, Go Ahead and ASK… at Thompson Pharmacy it’s All for YOU!