Melatonin may prevent migraine
7 June 2016
Taking melatonin may be an effective way of preventing migraines, say Brazilian researchers.
Their trial comparing melatonin 3â€…mg, amitriptyline 25â€…mg (an antidepressant medicine used in migraine prevention) and placebo (dummy treatment) found melatonin to be better than placebo for migraine prevention and more tolerable than amitriptyline.
“Both melatonin and amitriptyline were superior to placebo on . . . number of headache days per month, and reduced the number of analgesics [painkillers] taken, attack duration, and migraine intensity,” the researchers write in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
More than half of those taking melatonin reported fewer headaches, compared with 39% of those on amitriptyline and 24% in the placebo arm.
The study also found more adverse events with amitriptyline, including daytime sleepiness and weight gain.
People taking melatonin tended to lose weight, while placebo led to a slight weight gain and a larger one with amitriptyline, report Dr Andre Leite Gonçalves and colleagues from Albert Einstein Hospital, São Paulo.
The authors conclude melatonin is an effective and well-tolerated preventive approach for migraine.
“Owing to its favourable side effect profile and efficacy, melatonin could be an option for patients sensitive to other drugs or with a preference for natural products. With the same efficacy level compared with other treatments and a low cost, melatonin should be a cost-effective treatment.”
Last Reviewed: 07/06/2016
Reproduced with kind permission from 6minutes.com.au.
Migraine treatment options
While migraines can be debilitating, there are treatments available to help prevent and treat migraines. Avoiding your triggers (when possible) is also recommended to help prevent migraines.
A migraine is typically a headache with moderate to severe throbbing or pounding on one side of your head, and can last from 4 hours to 3 days. Find out what products are available for migraine.
A headache can be defined as pain that is felt in the head or upper neck. The type of pain associated with a headache may be described as dull, sharp, constant, throbbing, mild or intense. Headaches are one of the most common health-related conditions and are usually caused by more than one factor.
Video: Antidepressants work, but some better than others
A large analysis has found 21 different antidepressants to be better than a placebo (dummy treatment), however side-effects meant they were stopped more often than placebo.
A migraine is a type of headache that typically involves throbbing pain, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sounds. Migraines can worsen with normal activity and can last anywhere from four hours to three days. They are more common in women and in people between 20 to 50 years of age.