Magnesium for Migraine (graphic)

by James on 8 July 2013

Magnesium for Migraine

We’ve known about a link between migraine and magnesium for over 70 years.
Researchers now believe that magnesium is one of the best preventative treatments for migraine.

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Try a for 3 months to see if it helps
  • Take between 400 and 1200mg per day (if possible in 2 or 3 doses)
  • Start with a low dosage and raise it slowly
  • Do not take with calcium (check the label!)
  • If you get diarrhea, try a different type of magnesium or lower the dose
  • Eat foods high in magnesium (ie dark green leafy vegetables, beans)

For recommended brands & advice from other migraineurs, check here:

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Johnny Angel July 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I was on Magnesium for my severe migraine problem for about 6 months – did absolutely nothing for me.


Laila Maria Blideskog July 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Before I began with 600 mg magnesium per day, I had around 20 migraine days/month, now I have around 6 migraine days/month =)

(I have eaten it around a year…) So for me magnesium gave my life back =)


Kerry Craig July 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm

It didn’t help me either. :-/


Theresa Maddox July 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Took it over 20 yrs, nothing for me either, BUT many women are deficient in mag, so it’s def worth the try!


Diana Lee (@somebodyhealme) July 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm

I’m curious: What is your source for the assertion that patients cannot take both magnesium and calcium?

Based on my understanding, this is not correct.

For example, Dr. Andrew Weil does not believe this:

There is nothing about it in Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s great info about herbs and supplements:

Finally, for what it’s worth, I think it’s important to cite sources if you want your readers to be able to trust your information.


James July 9, 2013 at 8:52 am

Hi Diana,

Always great to hear from you!

As always, the graphic above is a brief summary, so it’s hard to know exactly what information to include.

I did extensive research into magnesium when I first started to recommend it. It’s actually a pretty complex topic when it comes to migraine, as I’m sure you know!

I took a look at the articles you linked to, and they didn’t have a lot to say about calcium and magnesium, except that they are related and balance each other. However, it is true that most magnesium supplements you find in the store will also contain calcium. Basically, it’s because of this balance and how they’re absorbed when they’re taken separately and together.

To clarify what I said above, they should not be taken together – in other words, at the same time. If you’re taking a calcium supplement or calcium/magnesium supplement, they should be taken at a different time of day. In other words, taking magnesium for migraine does not mean you can’t take calcium at all.

Taking magnesium for migraine is different than taking it or calcium for other reasons. This has to do with how they interact and balance. When my research was leading me to this conclusion, I corresponded with Dr. Alexander Mauskop of the New York Headache Clinic, because I knew he had done extensive research on magnesium specifically for migraine. He confirmed this and added the suggestion that calcium simply be taken at another time of day.

You’re right, I should write a longer article explaining this a little more, talking about how the balance works and how different types of magnesium supplements work better for migraine. I hope that’s a bit of a help in the mean time. :)


Julie Hindle-Cushen July 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm

i take 2 every night but has never done anything for migraine


Rhiannon Morgayne July 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Magnesium IV works, but is hard to get, unless you can afford a Naturopath, which I can’t. It only works IV.


Becky Adkins Branch July 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm

You need to combine it with the other vitamins – 400 mg of B2, B Complex and CoQ10


Carol Halford September 26, 2013 at 9:26 am

Thank you James for your endless efforts at providing info for migraineurs. I think it should be noted that dark chocolate contains a WHOLE lot of magnesium. But….that might be the very trigger for a migraine. Just thought I’d point that out. My migraines aren’t triggered by any foods so it works for me (smile)


Laura December 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Unfortunately, Mg never worked for me either. I was on it for 2 years. Nothing changed in my migraine frequency or the amount of pain.


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