I recently wrote on the topic: Migraine treatment and Coenzyme Q10 supplementation. I wanted to also mention the importance of B2 and the recommended dosage of B2. Vitamin B2 also known as Riboflavin is affordable and a migraine treatment that is backed by some research.
Points to note about B2 or Riboflavin treatment for migraine
- the recommended dosage for vitamin B2 for migraine treatment is 400 mg.
- It is well tolerated by adults and children
- It is pretty inexpensive
I don’t think there is an abundance of evidence to suggest it would be beneficial on its own, although one never knows as we are all different. I do think it is definitely worth adding to your migraine preventative treatment plan.
One thing I like about looking at reviews is that they analyze previous research to see what the results are overall. That prevents anyone from looking at any one study, perhaps a small one, and making any conclusions about it when there isn’t further information.
For this review they pulled data from- A MEDLINE literature search inclusive of the dates 1966-2016 was performed, Excerpta Medica was searched from 1980 to 2016 and Web of Science was searched using the terms riboflavin and migraine inclusive of 1945-2016.
From that, they looked at 11 studies from B2 migraine prevention.
- 5 clinical trials show a consistent positive therapeutic effect in adults;
- 4 clinical trials show a mixed effect in paediatric and adolescent patients,
- 2 clinical trials of combination therapy have not shown benefit.
Riboflavin is well tolerated, inexpensive and has demonstrated efficacy in the reduction of adult patient’s migraine headache frequency. Additional data are needed, however, to resolve questions involving pharmacokinetic issues and pharmacogenomic implications of therapy.Study
One study was interesting because it compared Depakote, a migraine preventative medication, to B2 for the prevention of migraine attack frequency. They found they both reduced symptoms similarly but B2 had far fewer side effects- likely because Sodium Valproate (Depakote) is well known for less than awesome side effects and plentiful side effects, whereas B2 has next to none.
It literally found “The findings showed that the frequency, median duration per month, and severity of the headaches decreased in both groups, but the difference between them was not significant (p > 0.05).”- (Study)
I just found this study of 90 participants in 2015 interesting because of my horrible reaction to Depakote side-effect-wise… not a pleasant one for me, but others may find different results with it.
A study that initiated a lot of the later research in 1998 had some promising findings and that is why it has been pursued as a possible supplement to take. It used the 400 mg dosage for a 3 month period of time in 55 migraine participants. It found that 60% of them showed 50% improvements in frequency.
When it comes to Riboflavin-
It doesn’t have many side effects to consider for a natural approach or an addition to your migraine preventative medication plan. Certainly, something to discuss with your medical professionals.
From the research with children and teens is definitely something to consider for younger migraine patients:
-Condo, M., Posar, A., Arbizzani, A., & Parmeggiani, A. (2009). Riboflavin prophylaxis in pediatric and adolescent migraine. The journal of headache and pain, 10(5), 361-365.
-Sherwood, M., & Goldman, R. D. (2014). Effectiveness of riboflavin in pediatric migraine prevention. Canadian Family Physician, 60(3), 244-247.