Migraine Prevention Medication and Green Tea Warning

Migraine patients taking Migraine medication and drinking green tea, may not be getting all they bargained for.

Taking Migraine preventive medicines like the anti-hypertensive nadolol, name brand Corgard, can be helpful to many patients in their management protocols. This medication is used off-label by doctors even though it has not been FDA approved for use in Migraine prevention. Many patients find it is helpful in managing their Migraines. Some patients have found it useless.This post is important for both those groups.


Migraine prevention depends a great deal upon keeping consistent levels of the preventive medicine in the body of the patient. This is why doctors recommend patients take their medication the same way each day, usually at the same time. Follow directions regarding the intake of food and milk products, etc as well as grapefruit and juice to be sure you’re getting the appropriate amount of the medicine that you need to keep Migraine management maximized without damaging your system.

Sometimes certain foods can cause problems with our medicines. It often surprises patients that it can take a long while before researchers notice the problem and tell doctors and the FDA so they can pass along the word to patients. I’m writing to you today, because although doctors frequently consider coffee and caffeine when they talk to their patients, they often forget tea can be just as big a part of a patient’s way of life. I’m afraid that doctors may miss giving their tea drinking Migraine patients this important announcement.

Green tea, often consumed because of its anti-oxidant benefits as well as caffeine levels, has been found in a small study, to highly effect nadolol in patients who were consuming both.  EMP reported:

“Shingen Misaka, PhD, from Fukushima Medical University in Japan, and colleagues gave 10 volunteers a single dose of 30mg of nadolol after they had consumed either water or about three cups of green tea daily for 14 days.

The researchers found that blood levels of the drug were 76% lower in the group that drank green tea compared to the water-drinking group.”

The study involved only 10 people, so reproduction of findings is going to be important. The findings were an extremely significant reduction however, which may be caused by the catechins found in green tea, which could be blocking the medication's ability to be absorbed.

Regardless if you’re taking nadolol for the cardiac benefits it was designed for, or as a Migraine preventive medication, Gregg Fonarow, MD, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, urge patients to talk about this with their doctors.


As usual, we try to remind patients of the vital importance of not changing your current protocol without first discussing it with your doctor. This goes for starting medicines and discontinuing them. The researchers didn’t say whether discontinuing drinking your green tea without talking to your doctor is dangerous, but personally I would continue whatever I was doing, then get to my doctor asap and discuss potential changes before making any on my own. I would also be careful to be sure my doctor is monitoring me while any changes might be made.

Also not discussed: The potential that inconsistent green tea consumption during a trial of nadolol for Migraine prevention, could have had an impact on your results. If you think you may have been consuming green tea during your nadolol preventive trial, and have yet to find an effective preventive medicine, please get this discussion going with your doctor so your trial may be re-evaluated.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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