Intravenous Magnesium Reduces Pain in Patients with Migraine Headaches: a Randomized Clinical Trial
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
When researching for alternative therapies, magnesium is a treatment which shows up for a large amount of ailments. Why is magnesium so important for the human body? It is the second most concentrated ion in the human body and plays a role in hundreds of intracellular processes. It is mostly stored in the bone, inside of cells, and a very small amount (<2%) of our body's total magnesium supply can be found in the blood.
A research trial done in the States looked at the role of intravenous magnesium in reducing migraine related pain. They infused 2 grams over 1-2 hours in patients presenting with status migrainosus (a severe and long-lasting migraine headache).
From the patients who received the magnesium treatment almost 30% reported a complete resolution in their symptoms. Another 17% reported very much improved symptoms and another 12.5% of patients reported much improved symptoms. 22% of patients did not notice any improvement and 4% of patients noticed an increase in pain. On average, there was a 44% reduction in the intensity of the pain.
How does intravenous magnesium reduce pain from migraine headaches? The current hypothesis is that there is an increase in the production of calcitonin-related-gene-peptide (CRGP) and Nitric Oxide (NO). Both of these natural biochemical mediators alter flow of blood to the brain and alter the sensation of pain in the body.
The study only used one treatment of IV Magnesium for the patients. There were no future treatments or follow-up for how long patients remained pain-free.
1. Xu, F., Arakelyan, A., Spitzberg, A., Green, L., Cesar, P.-H., Csere, A., Sahai-Srivastava, S. (2019). Experiences of an outpatient infusion center with intravenous magnesium therapy for status migrainosus. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, 178, 31–35.