In honor of Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, today’s post will discuss recent research regarding the use of melatonin for migraine prevention.
A group of researchers from Brazil designed and completed a randomized placebo controlled study comparing melatonin, amitriptyline, and placebo for migraine prevention. A total of 196 participants were enrolled in the study, which included both men and women, ages 18-65. Patients were experiencing 2-8 migraine attacks per month. Subjects were evaluated by a trained headache specialist at the time of enrollment in the study, and then followed for 12 weeks. The main outcome measure was the number of migraine headache days per month. Secondary outcome measures included migraine intensity and duration.
Participants in the study kept a diary in which they recorded information about their headaches, which in turn was reviewed by the headache specialists at baseline, and at the end of 1, 2, and 3 months of treatment.
Results of the study showed that melatonin was as efficacious as the amitriptyline and superior to placebo, in decreasing the number of headaches per month (primary endpoint). Melatonin was superior to amitriptyline and placebo in headache responders, which were those participants with better than a 50% improvement in headache frequency. Melatonin also demonstrated less side effects than amitriptyline.
Given the results of this study, showing the efficacy of melatonin for preventing migraine headache with a favorable side effect profile, melatonin may be an option for those who find tradition therapies ineffective or suffer intolerable side effects.
(Source- Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2016; 0:1-6)
This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.