Does Magnesium cause headaches? (3 Research studies explained) 

Does Magnesium cause headaches?

No, Magnesium does not cause headaches. In fact, this mineral holds clinical importance in the management of migraine and Magnesium deficiency is one of the common findings in people struggling with chronic headaches. 

So, Magnesium does not increase intracranial tension or trigger headaches on its own. However, if you’re struggling with headaches, you should get your Magnesium levels checked. 

Research studies on the relationship between Magnesium and headaches 

There are several research studies linking Magnesium to headaches. A 2020 research study published in the Journal of MDPI ‘Nutrients’ indicated that Magnesium is used for managing and preventing migraine headaches. 

The study added that the majority of people with chronic headaches have Magnesium deficiency, which can lead to worsening of the symptoms. This is why Magnesium supplements hold clinical importance in the management of chronic headaches. 

Among Magnesium supplements, Magnesium Pidolate is considered the best one and it achieves greater bioavailability as compared to other supplements (1). Another research study focused on the physiological aspects of Magnesium deficiency and headaches. 

The study indicated that Magnesium deficiency could increase intracranial depression, enhance pain perception, and cause platelet aggregation – all of the factors which can trigger migraine headaches or increase the frequency of migraine attacks if one already struggles with it (2). 

Several other studies have also indicated that Magnesium can be used as a preventive measure for such headaches. This clearly shows that Magnesium does not cause headaches on its own and people who suffer from such pains usually have a Magnesium deficiency. 

Magnesium deficiency can also trigger muscle pains, and magnesium supplements can sometimes help manage muscular pain associated with some medications, like Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Gabapentin, etc.

What to do if you’re struggling with headaches? 

Reach out to your healthcare provider if you constantly find yourself struggling with headaches. If Magnesium is the element of concern for you, make sure you’re not deficient. 

If you are and that is what’s causing your headaches, there are a lot of effective Magnesium supplements that can help restore your Magnesium reserves and make you feel better. However, a headache could have a million different causes, including:

  • Inadequate sleep
  • Too much caffeine or caffeine withdrawal 
  • Prolonged eye strain
  • Stress
  • Dehydration 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Dental problems 
  • Head or neck injury 
  • Hormonal imbalance 
  • Sinus headaches 
  • Medication-induced headaches (Examples of medications that can cause headaches include antidepressants like Lexapro and Wellbutrin, painkillers like Tramadol, weight-loss pills like Phentermine, etc)

This is why it’s important to discuss chronic headaches with a doctor to determine the exact cause of your symptoms. Proper diagnosis is an essential key to determining the best possible treatment strategy. 

If you have an underlying cause of your headaches, your doctor will prescribe some suitable medications to deal with your symptoms effectively. 

Important tips to manage headaches 

There are some tips that can help manage your headaches. These include:

  • Avoid straining your eyes when you’re having a headache. Prolonged use of electronic gadgets can exacerbate your headache by exerting pressure on your brain. 
  • Switch off the lights, lie down, and close your eyes. Avoid listening to anything until you feel a little better. 
  • Take an OTC painkiller, like Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Naproxen, etc to help relieve the pain. 
  • Drink a hot beverage, like tea or coffee. 
  • Apply OTC headache balms on your forehead. These medicated topical preparations relieve the pain and massaging them into your skin can help improve blood flow. 
  • Consult a doctor if your headache persists. 

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Maier JA, Pickering G, Giacomoni E, Cazzaniga A, Pellegrino P. Headaches and Magnesium: Mechanisms, Bioavailability, Therapeutic Efficacy and Potential Advantage of Magnesium Pidolate. Nutrients. 2020 Aug 31;12(9):2660. doi: 10.3390/nu12092660. PMID: 32878232; PMCID: PMC7551876. Available from:


Yablon LA, Mauskop A. Magnesium in headache. In: Vink R, Nechifor M, editors. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press; 2011. PMID: 29920023. Available from: