Friday, January 10, 2014

High Dose Riboflavin for Migraines

Who knew? The neurologist increased S's Riboflavin to 400mg BID today for his migraines. Even his mito doc had not heard of it.... I did a quick search and it turns out that they have done many studies on using Riboflavin to treat migraines!

He's had migraines since he was around 6 and been treated for them. We are also adding Magnesium Oxide and Butterbur along with abortive drugs to stop the migraines he does get. Figured I'd share this info in case there are other people like me who didn't know about this migraine treatment.

This link had a lot of info:

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) for the treatment of migraine headaches: an introduction

Riboflavin is a B vitamin that is essential for growth. Riboflavin, also known as Vitamin B2 or B2, can also be produced synthetically. It is often used as food coloring and to fortify foods including baby foods, cereals, and cheese. Riboflavin is destroyed by light, so food containing this vitamin shouldn’t be stored in clear containers.

Food containing Riboflavin

  • Milk
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Turnip greens
  • Spinach
  • Eggs
  • Almonds
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Whole grains
  • Poultry
  • Lean meat

Riboflavin and migraines

Riboflavin supplements have been used for more than three decades as natural remedy for newborns with jaundice and ariboflavinosis (riboflavin vitamin deficiency). More recently, Riboflavin, in high doses, has been identified as a vitamin that can help migraine sufferers.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and migraine headaches

Riboflavin is necessary for growth and for the production of red blood cells. Riboflavin also plays an important role in how our bodies gets energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Migraine sufferers may not have enough Vitamin B2. This makes Riboflavin a potential treatment option. Because migraines can be caused by many events in the body, Riboflavin is often used in combination with other migraine treatments.

Studies on Riboflavin and Migraines

One 1998 study of 80 patients who suffer from migraine with aura or migraine without aura found that 400 mg of Riboflavin worked better at preventing migraines than an inactive placebo pill. After three months, patients in the Riboflavin group experienced fewer migraines and deceased severity of migraines than those in the placebo group. Here’s a breakdown of how many patients benefitted:
  • Riboflavin cut the number of headache days at least in half : Riboflavin 50% , Placebo 15%
A 2004 study, which didn’t compare Riboflavin to a dummy placebo pill or any other treatment, found that patients who took 400 mg of Riboflavin daily experienced significantly fewer headaches and used fewer migraine pain killers or abortive medications for migraines. However, total headache hours and headache intensity did not change significantly. Here’s a summary:
  • Headache days per month : Before Riboflavin 4 days , After three months of Riboflavin 2 days
  • Pain killers used per month : Before Riboflavin 7 units , After three months of Riboflavin 4.5 units

Formulations of Riboflavin available

Riboflavin is available as:
  • Capsules
  • Tablets
  • Tablets, Enteric Coated
 NLH article:  "Possibly effective for...    Preventing migraine headaches. Taking high-dose riboflavin (400 mg/day) seems to significantly reduce the number of migraine headache attacks. However, taking riboflavin does not appear to reduce the amount of pain or the amount of time a migraine headache lasts."

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