Beta Blockers

Beta-Blockers medications for the treatment of migraine headaches : an introduction

Beta-blockers, commonly used for treating high blood pressure and other heart issues, are also prescribed to prevent migraines. Beta-blockers are also sometimes called beta-adrenergic blocking agents.

Studies show that beta-blockers reduced migraine frequency in 50% of studied patients.

How beta blockers work

Beta-blockers work to relax and open up blood flow in blood vessels. Changes in blood vessels in the brain are thought to cause migraines, however it is unclear how beta-blockers prevent migraine symptoms. Beta-blockers also block the effect of adrenaline, reduce blood pressure and slows the heart beat.

Side effects of beta blockers

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Insomnia, sleep problems, nightmares and vivid dreams
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Weight Gain
  • Exacerbation of asthma


Who should not take beta blockers

People with asthma, emphysema, moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypoglycemia associated with diabetes treatment, sinus bradycardia, partial AV block heart block, and hypotension should use beta blockers with caution. Those with the circulatory problem, peripheral artery disease are sometimes advised against taking beta blockers.


Different beta-blockers for preventing migraines

Written by: Otesa Miles | Last review date: November 2010
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