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.

See National Health Institute for food sources

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.

Title of pin: Migraine treatment-B2 Riboflavin
Image two arms out and between hands image of pills and fruit

2017: Prophylaxis of migraine headaches with riboflavin: A systematic review

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.

They concluded:

 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

Comparative study between Sodium Valproate (Depakote) to B2 for Migraine for prevention

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.

An often mentioned early 1998 study

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 pain10(5), 361-365.
-Sherwood, M., & Goldman, R. D. (2014). Effectiveness of riboflavin in pediatric migraine prevention. Canadian Family Physician60(3), 244-247.

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4 thoughts on “Migraine treatment: B2 Riboflavin

  1. My neuro suggested 500mg magnesium and 400mg b2 a few years ago. It helped cut back the number of migraines i was having. also Petadolex, which is an extract of purple butterbur helped as well. i tried all sorts of other brands, never with the results of that namebrand.

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    1. I never had a neurologist suggest anything, which is peculiar to say the least. But I do take the recommended dosage of magnesium 600 mg and now B2. And added in CoQ10 at 100mg. But I am allergic to Butterbur and Feverfew because they are in the ragweed category. Actually with Butterbur that allergic reaction was an erratic heart rhythm so a bit freaky. Feverfew was more in line with my normal season allergy symptoms. I had no idea either were a ragweed until after I had those reactions.

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      1. he actually said he had just gone to a conference and i wasnt going to believe what he was about to say. 🙂 So this is kind of new, like in the last 5ish years. I am seeing alot of information popping up about how alot of people are magnesium deficient and it causes headaches, muscle cramping etc. i also take CoQ10 300×2/day as it helps with allodynia, and is supposed to help with muscle spasms. Primary care started me at 400/day. i went up to 1000/day but the best i saw was at 600. Sorry about that allergy the butterbur was helping me i just didnt like the pricetag. Oh, and my neuro is also prescribing medical marijuana now so i know he has a very open mind as well.

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      2. I might increase my CoQ10 just for the other fibro benefits… like the allodynia which as you know is brutal. I am just testing my overall tolerance for it right now. But I am review fibro research on it

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