Welcome to the Butterbur Forum
Welcome to the Butterbur Forum
I have had chronic migraines for 14 years now. I am currently taking 100mg of Lamictal daily. I tried butterbur for five months with little to no improvement. I was taking 2 75mg capsules at night.
*two 75mg capsules at night (just to clarify).
Hi speechie2010 – Butterbur is no different than other medicinal approaches. Yes, it is a plant, but our bodies see it just like other medicines. There is unfortunately no cut and dried approach to treating Migraine, and not every patient will do well with butterbur. Some do though. I sure wish you had been one of those that responded.
I am wondering if you used the name brand Petadolex or another brand? The reason for asking, is that the response for other brands tends to be much less than response from Petadolex – the original version. Unfortunately, even Petadolex is no longer as stringent in their production of butterbur, and many headache and Migraine specialists no longer recommend it as a result.
I tried Butterbut for a month but found that it was making me feel like I had a mild migraine all the time. Drat, was told about it by someone whom it helps greatly. Every body is different. Then when I found out about the potential toxicity problems because of poor testing and regulations was glad it didn’t help.
I take Petadolex, I posted to the alternative therapy area about it. However, I’m not sure it’s helping or not. If you read the Petadolex site, they have rave postings from all kinds of patients, but I’m not fooled so easily. So far, I have migraines that aren’t as terrible and are easier to stop, but I don’t know if it’s the Petadolex or the Namenda my doctor started me on. I’m on a very low dose of Namenda, 10 mg.
As for the Petadolex people being stringent about taking out the natural toxins in butterbur, I think they have solved that problem. It was just the German gov’t that was reacting, but they have gone a long way to prove their new process takes out the toxins just as well as the old way. Petadolex is distributed by Ezymatic Therapy and I know this company puts out good products that are thoroughly tested.
I went to see an alternative medicine doc recently and she said that normally she would recommend butterbur, however there have been a lot of contamination issues lately where people have been getting kidney or liver problems, even with the prestigious petadolex. I asked my regular neuro and she confirmed that there have been toxicity issues with butterbur recently (again, even with petadolex) and she told me to steer clear of it.
Again these issues are more recent so I’d encourage you to make sure you’re checking recent reports when you do your research.
By Tammy Rome
Please take a look at my earlier response in another butterbur thread.
Here’s the thing that no one ever says. Adverse event reporting for nutritional supplments is simply a repository of reports from consumers and physicians. These reports may or may not be verified by the FDA. Nowhere in these “reports” is there any data regarding other medications or supplements taken that may have contributed to liver problems. Neither is there any information about the patients’ risk factors for liver problems. Without this information, no one can say for sure whether these reports are accurate. Also, we have no information about the quality, purity, manufacturing, bottling, branding, etc. There are a lot of Butterbur products that are labeled as “Petadolex”. Frankly, I would only trust the original company — Enzymatic Therapy. They have an impeccable reputation in the nutritional supplement industry.
Without all of this information, everything else is just speculation. It is no wonder doctors are not recommending it. They are being cautious with their patient’s well-being. Ultimately, it is up to each person what risks they choose to take or not.
p.s. I just sent a inquiry to Enzymatic Therapy regarding this issue. I will post their response when it arrives.
By Tammy Rome
As promised, here is the entire email response I just received from Enzymatic Therapy. Hope this answers any questions you might have about Butterbur or other supplements.
I asked them:
“I work with Health Union, writing regular articles for Migraine.com. Lately we’ve had a lot of questions about the purity and safety of Petadolex brand butterbur. What can you tell me about your quality assurance and any other relevant information about this issue? I am a former health food store owner and herbalist student, so I have a fairly advanced knowledge of herbs. Don’t hold back on technical information. I can follow it and translate to our readers if necessary.”
Dear Tammy Rome,
Thank you for contacting Enzymatic Therapy®. It is great to hear that you are taking an interest in a healthier lifestyle! I understand that you have questions/concerns regarding our Petadolex® product. I am happy to help.
Petadolex is a clinically-studied butterbur extract for healthy blood flow in the brain.* Regarding our quality standards, Nature’s Way is a leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality dietary supplements. We take the quality, safety and efficacy of our formulations seriously. We have built quality into every aspect of our business—from our facility, to our processes, to our people.
Our focus on quality assurance includes both internal and external quality evaluations. As part of our internal quality control procedures, we have developed a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art laboratory with advanced analytical equipment and highly trained chemists and microbiologists. This facility allows us to monitor and test ingredients and products at various points during the manufacturing process. These tests include:
Our laboratory conducts over 100,000 tests on 10,000 ingredient and product samples every year, which is approximately 10 tests per sample. The laboratory staff is extremely proficient and knowledgeable regarding analytical methodology for botanicals and other nutrients. They have participated in AOAC method validations, and serve on industry standards committees relating to analytical methodology.
Our external quality standards include performing Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) audits of suppliers, verifying that our suppliers have the proper manufacturing licenses and that all materials or products made for Nature’s Way are produced under current GMP conditions.
The facility in which Enzymatic Therapy®, Nature’s Way®, and Integrative Therapeutics™ brands are manufactured has Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Certification. GMP Certification confirms that a facility is in compliance with the dietary supplement GMP standards. Certification is awarded by NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports regulatory standards through onsite audits and inspections. After achieving certification, Nature’s Way is then audited every nine months in order to confirm compliance.
While all dietary supplements are officially governed under the Dietary Supplement GMPs, some companies, such as Nature’s Way, hold themselves to higher operating standards. Doing so enables us to stand behind the safety and consistency of our products. In addition to Dietary Supplement GMP certification, the Green Bay facility has received GMP certification by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA).
Registration as a Drug Establishment is required for facilities that manufacture and/or distribute drug products. Nature’s Way manufactures and distributes several over the counter (OTC) drugs. Drug GMPs, which must be followed for these products, are much more stringent, requiring testing of every lot, stability testing and bioavailability testing. Registration as a Drug Establishment results in having inspectors audit the manufacturing facility and the associated drug products for compliance with the Drug GMP Standard (the most rigorous US standard).
Nature’s Way is also certified as an Organic Processor by Quality Assurance International (QAI). QAI confirms annually that our manufacturing processes and facilities are compliant with the National Organic Program (NOP) rules for the production of organically certified products.
We have made the commitment to deliver quality and safety — above and beyond what is required by the industry standard. Our products are safe and our labels are accurate. Every product we sell is consistent, batch to batch, bottle to bottle, and capsule to capsule. The end result is products you can trust.
Feel confident that Nature’s Way will continue to increase our investments in raw materials, manufacturing equipment and quality control personnel and technology to insure that our products are of the highest quality and efficacy. We believe that only through this unyielding commitment to quality materials and quality processes can we continue to Enhance Life Through the Power of Nature.
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*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
It has been my pleasure to help you with your question today. Please feel free to contact us with any other concerns or questions you may have. For further information regarding Enzymatic Therapy products, visit our website at http://www.enzy.com. You may also view other Nature’s Way brands at http://www.naturesway.com.
In good health,
Customer Service Representative l
Nature’s Way Brands
825 Challenger Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311
Office: (920) 469-4422
Toll Free: (800) 225-9245
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By Tammy Rome
I sent a follow up message to Enzymatic Therapy (Nature’s Way) to ask specifically about the removal of the liver-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
This is what I learned:
“Nature’s Way has a specification which specifies that the butterbur cannot contain more than 0.1 ppm of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Each batch is tested and has always complied with this specification. For more information on their testing, you may contact the manufacturer, Weber & Weber. Their website is http://www.weber-weber.de.”
Weber & Weber is a Germany supplement manufacturer that has been the sole provider of Petadolex according to the U.S. supplier’s specification listed in the quote above. Upon further investigation, I discovered that the removal of German approval for the supplement is due to a technicality and not because the product was found to be unsafe. From 1972 until 2009 the removal of pyrrlizidine alkaloids from the Petdolex brand of butterbur used dichloromethane in the extraction process. In 2009, Weber and Weber developed a more efficient extraction process using CO2. The end product did not change, only the extraction method.
The German organization responsible for approving registration of supplements demanded that all new Petadolex extracted using CO2 be registere as a NEW product. This would have required extensive safety and effectiveness testing for what is the exact same product that has enjoyed approval for over 40 years. German headache specialists have been recommending this exact brand since 1972 and continue to do so despite the technical loss of governmental registration. Weber & Weber declined to register Petadolex as a “new” product. They are still fighting the determination in German courts.
Nothing has changed about the quality, potency, or purity of the product.
My doctor recommended butterbur. I tried it for a month. It didn’t seem to help, but it gave me a terrible case of congestion – enough that I couldn’t breathe through my nose at all much of the time! I started right at springtime so I thought I might be getting allergies (for the first time in 55 years?). I stopped taking the butterbur, and the congestion went away. No more butterbur for me!
By Gemma Joyce Moderator
Thank you for sharing your experience with Butterbur. I’m sorry that you had side effects with it.
Interestingly, Butterbur may cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to plants such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies. So that could be something to discuss with your doctor.