St John’s wort (Hypericum perfortum) a medicinal plant used for depression has been shown to increase the levels of brain serotonin, which may also influence migraine headache. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of H. perforatum on the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches in patients. In a clinical trial, 100 patients aged 15 to 45 years, with migraine headaches were randomly assigned to two study groups. The trial was conducted in four phases of 45 days. In the pretreatment phase, patients were drug free. In the first treatment phase, both patient groups received sodium valproate (200 mg/tablet), twice daily. In the second phase, patients in study group 1 continued to use sodium valproate and patients in study group 2 received tablets of H. perforatum thrice daily in addition to sodium valproate. In the third phase of study, patients were medicated identically to the first phase of the trial. Patients were free to take indometacin 25 mg capsules as a rescue medication for migraine throughout. Co-administration of H. perforatum coated tablets with sodium valproate in the second trial phase reduced (P=0.04) the intensity of migraine attacks and evoked a more marked decline in their frequency. Therefore, H. perforatum might be beneficial in migraineurs.
Key words: St. John's wort, migraine headache, sodium valproate.
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