Review: Feverfew in migraine prevention

Feverfew may be no better than placebo in the treatment of migraine, but it’s safe.

Results from controlled trials were mixed. The overall conclusion is that feverfew has not been shown to be better than placebo in the prevention of migraine.

No significant side effects or safety issues were identified with the use of feverfew.

The publication:

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(1):CD002286.

Feverfew for preventing migraine.

Pittler MH, Ernst E.

Department of Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, 25 Victoria Park Road, Exeter, Devon, UK, EX2 4NT.

Summary of the abstract

BACKGROUND: Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.) extract is a herbal remedy used for preventing attacks of migraine.

OBJECTIVES: To systematically review the evidence from double-blind randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the clinical efficacy and safety of feverfew versus placebo for preventing migraine.

MAIN RESULTS: Five trials (343 patients) met the inclusion criteria. Results from these trials were mixed and did not convincingly establish that feverfew is efficacious for preventing migraine. Only mild and transient adverse events were reported in the included trials.

REVIEWER’S CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence from randomised, double-blind trials to suggest an effect of feverfew over and above placebo for preventing migraine. It appears from the data reviewed that feverfew presents no major safety problems.


One Response to Review: Feverfew in migraine prevention
  1. […] problem with feverfew is that it does not seem to be all that effective. A comprehensive review of feverfew use for the prevention of migraine concluded that feverfew might work – or it might not. […]