Migraines, Medications, and Our Bones
We seldom think about them this way, but bones are living tissue that change throughout our lives and can be impacted by medications, including those we take for Migraines.
Bones go through a process called remodeling that continues to strengthen from birth until our bone mass peaks in our teens or early 20s. There are two types of cells that remodeling depends on:
- osteoblasts, cells that lay down new bone, and
- osteoclasts, cells that cause bone marrow to reabsorb or thin.
Bone density tends to be hereditary, so it's important to know your family's medical history. Men and taller people tend to have higher bone density. Other factors that impact bone density include:
- parathyroid hormone,
- serotonin, and
- vitamin D.
Unfortunately, several types of medications that are often used for Migraine and headache prevention can impact our bones, something that is too often not discussed when our treatments are being selected. Those types of medications include some of the:
- corticosteroids, and
- neuronal stabilizing agents (anticonvulsants).
Proton pump inhibitors, often used for ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease, and thyroxine, used for thyroid, disease, can also impact bone mass.
The American Headache Society has a Headache Toolbox series designed for patients. For more information about the issues discussed above, download Headache Medication and Bone Health.
Friedman, Deborah I., MD, MPH. "Headache Medications and Bone Health." Headache. Headache Toolbox. June 1, 2012.
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