Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of feverfew in migraine prevention.


Murphy JJ, Heptinstall S, Mitchell JR






The use of feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) for migraine prophylaxis was assessed in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. After a one-month single-blind placebo run-in, 72 volunteers were randomly allocated to receive either one capsule of dried feverfew leaves a day or matching placebo for four months and then transferred to the other treatment limb for a further four months. Frequency and severity of attacks were determined from diary cards which were issued every two months; efficacy of each treatment was also assessed by visual analogue scores. 60 patients completed the study and full information was available in 59. Treatment with feverfew was associated with a reduction in the mean number and severity of attacks in each two-month period, and in the degree of vomiting; duration of individual attacks was unaltered. Visual analogue scores also indicated a significant improvement with feverfew. There were no serious side-effects.