Report #1

Petadolex

Research Report March 2014

Petadolex is a proprietary extract of the butterbur plant. When taken as directed, Petadolex reduces the frequency of migraine attacks. Review of published scientific papers supports efficacy in migraine prevention.

Even with Level A recommendations by the American Headache Society (AHS) and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), Petadolex is not widely known by doctors outside of a small group of migraine specialists. A Google search using the key words "migraine prevention medication" returns as the top hit, an article reviewed by Dr. Richard Senelick for WebMD.com, titled "Preventive Migraine Medication", which did not include mention Petadolex or butterbur. [reference: Senelick, WebMD.com, Aug 19, 2012] This curious situation identifies a possible blind spot in this branch of medicine and warrants further attention by health care professionals and migraine suffers.

Petadolex Background »

An important question regarding Petadolex vs. butterbur manufacturing process emerged during the evaluation of Petadolex. This issue is addressed in its own section.

Petadolex Manufacturing Process »

To verify the effectiveness and safety of Petadolex and to discover any unexpected effects, an on-going DIRW? study aims to discover the true experiences of actual Petadolex users.

Participate »

  • 2089 Petadolex users were invited to participate, 895 (43%) submitted completed surveys which are summarized in this first report

  • Summary

    1. Did it really work? Yes - for a majority of people (62%). Actual experience appears comparable to previously published studies.
    2. A small percentage of people experienced bothersome side effects (7%). Several respondents advised taking Petadolex with food, specifically in the middle of a meal, to avoid experiencing belching. More research is needed to better understand the side effects.
    3. Petadolex may take many weeks or months to begin to work. If it is worthwhile trying, then it makes sense to try for at least several months.
    4. Unexpected findings:
      • The vast majority of patients take Petadolex because it was recommended by their neurologist. This is surprising because Petadolex does not require a prescription.
      • Quite a few respondents had disappointing experiences with non-Petadolex generic butterbur. Since they also had good experiences with Petadolex, real differences between Petadolex and butterbur may exist. This is surprising because generic drugs are generally equivalent to their brand name counterparts. Equivalency between herbal preparations may be much more dependent on manufacturing process than chemically synthesized drugs.

    Clinical Effectiveness

    We asked Petadolex users whether Petadolex worked for them, "Did it really work?" and the answers confirm the results from previous studies -- that Petadolex really did work for the majority of migraine suffers. Only 9% reported that Petadolex did not work for them and 62% reported that Petadolex did work, based on the first 895 completed surveys.

    Side Effect

    The survey asked whether any bothersome side effect was experienced. Seven percent of respondents reported bothersome side effects. We are planning a followup survey to better understand these side effects.

    A surprising finding: How people learn about Petadolex

    Petadolex is a dietary supplement and available without prescription in the U.S. Since patients can learn about Petadolex and try this on their own, we were surprised to find that the vast majority of patients take Petadolex because it was recommended by their neurologist.

    Start of noticeable benefit

    Most commonly it takes several weeks for beneficial effects to be noticed. For a quarter of respondents, several months were needed for the effect to start.

    Other medications used

    The vast majority take Petadolex in conjunction with other prescription or non-prescription medications. Only 9% take Petadolex alone. 28% also take a prescription headache prevention medication.

    Advice for someone like you who is considering taking this product

    The survey gave respondents an opportunity to share helpful advice with others. Many personal and valuable advice were given. Below is a selection of advice organized by category.


    How to take it

    Definitely needs to be taken with food. In fact you need to eat half your meal, then take the pill then eat the rest of your meal. Otherwise you will burp a terrible herbacious flavor for hours to come.


    you must take it regularly. I have a tendency to forget to take it and when I do, I tend to get what I call "Minor" headaches. When I remember to take it, I don't get the headaches at all.


    Always take in the middle of eating a meal. Otherwise it results in "belching" and slight stomach distress. Other Comments: I also take 100mg Nortrtyline before sleeping. I feel this plus Petadolex has decreased my migraines significantly.


    What benefits to expect

    I'd suggest everyone try it. Everyone's system responds differently to medicine, Rx or OTC. For me, Petadolex has been a blessing. It has really cut down the frequency and intensity of my migraines.


    Try it and see for yourself if it helps! The amount of lost days due to migraines has certainly decreased since I began taking it, and when I stopped, they came back, so I believe it works!


    my migraine doctor prescribed this to take care of the allergy effects on my headaches and migraines. I take it with other migraine medications & allergy shots. it is a delicate balance. I recommend not stopping other medications unless advised to by your doctor.


    Try it and see for yourself if it helps! The amount of lost days due to migraines has certainly decreased since I began taking it, and when I stopped, they came back, so I believe it works!


    Don't wait another day to take your life back! I've been dealing with chronic migraines for 38 yrs& have had them last for 2wks at a time get 3 days off & then start another round of 2wks. I have been on petadolex for 5-6 yrs. Yes I still get the occasional break thru migraine, but the longest duration is no more than 2 - 3 days. I was suprised & relieved that it started to work so soon. My neurologist is so pleased w/the results as well. There are no side effects & mixes w/all meds w/out a problem. I have MS, High Blood Pressure & I take a total of 6 prescription meds, never a problem. I can't stress enough how imperative it is for anyone who suffers from migraines to get this product. I also adjust the dosage depending on how I am feeling, but even if I have do not have a headache I still take it at least once a day. I still get dull headaches which anyone who gets the bad ones will take a sligt dull headache that they can pretty much ignore because to us they are no big deal. I have always used the 50mg tablets, I feel I can better address my needs better w/that dosage. I'm sure I'm leaving something out.


    I have found that this has been the most helpful product i've used for my chronic headaches. It also has the least side effects and my neurologist was the one who suggested because I dont like hardcore medications (anti-epileptics). I took it for 5 months and it made a significant difference and I have been off of it now for 3 months and have continued success for the most part! i strongly suggest it


    I currently take 75 mg twice a day as well as prescription topomax. I haven't had a single migraine. This hasn't happened in my entire life with any other medication or combination if medications. I will try to lower my dosage to 75/50 or 50 mg twice a day since I believe in the lowest possible dose to maintain zero symptoms. This works.


    I have tried an extensive number and types of treatments over a period of 30 years for my debilitating migraines. This product has worked better than anything else I have done. I still have the occasional migraine, but the severity is markedly reduced, and the quantity is cut by a huge percentage.


    Pediatric migraine

    My 11 y/o son takes it for his migraine headaches. He passed out on stage during his Christmas musician program. He had been having headaches and with episodes of vomiting for over a year. His pediatrician kept telling us it was sinus problems. After he passed out, we saw a neurologist who diagnosed migraines. Within 4 days of taking Petadolex, his headaches were 80-90% improved.


    My 12 yr old son takes this, it took about 3 weeks to start noticing difference, also when he accidentally skips a dose he sometimes gets a headache. when we first started he was getting 4 headaches a week and now down to one a week and we control that with zomig


    Menstrual migraine

    stick with it because it takes different times to work. It only has reduced my migraines. I still get the ones related to hormones but they are not as severe. That part was interesting. I also may get a headache when I usually would get a migraine so the reduction in migraines and the less severity is a plus!


    How long it takes to work

    Try it and give it time to work. I've tried all kinds of preventatives even those prescribed by medical professionals and nothing has been effective until this one. Always tell your doctor and request regular liver function tests to monitor your health.


    Give the herb 2 months to start working. Completely cleared up my constant headache. I was off of it for a week and the headaches returned. It took almost 2 weeks to work again. Taking 2 x 50mg a day. 50mg was too weak.


    Start taking it and give it a few months before determining if it doesn't work. Everyone wants instant results but this drug takes some time to work. My headaches have been reduced significantly. Additionally, if I forget to take a few pills, I will get a headache....it does work!


    Comparison to non-Petadolex butterbur (generic butterbur)

    It works!! The "generic" Butterbur does not, even from GNC & private health product stores. The company is right on time with deliveries and consistent with bank drafts. I take 75mg. twice a day, and I am on my 10th bottle. My Neurologist is at The Medical University of SC & I see her every 3 months for BOTOX Tx. I suffer from Chronic Migraine with Aura. A TRUE living hell for you & your family. I miss out on so much! Emotional, stress & the Barometer changes with the weather. Yes, get it & try it. I wish you my luck with PETADOLEX!


    I tried a cheaper version of butterbur from ebay; not as helpful. Pay the money for the right product; there's a component that can be harmful that pentadolex filters out.


    I tried other butterbur products and they didn't work. I am very pleased with Petadolex.


    Don't bother with other brands of Butterbur. They are not effective.