Chapter 6, Episode 2: Vitamins and Supplements for Migraine Prevention

This content has been medically reviewed by Dr. Alexander Mauskop

Vitamins and supplements can be used as preventive treatments for migraine to help reduce the frequency, severity and disability of attacks. They can also improve the effectiveness of acute treatments and a person’s quality of life. Preventive treatments are considered when a person has 4 or more headache days per month or at least two severe headache days per month.

Vitamins and supplements may be particularly useful for people who

  • Were recently diagnosed with migraine disease
  • Are interested in using an alternative to prescription medication
  • Have other conditions 
  • Or are sensitive to medications or their side effects

While the FDA does not approve vitamins or supplements for safety or efficacy or monitor labeling they can be effective when used correctly and purchased from reputable companies.

A few of the most commonly used and researched vitamins and supplements for migraine are magnesium, riboflavin or vitamin B2 and coenzyme Q10. It typically takes 8 to 12 weeks to determine if they are helpful in reducing attacks.

Magnesium is one of the most well-studied supplements for migraine prevention. It is available in many types that vary in efficacy, tolerability and absorption. The most common dosage is 400 mg per day.

Magnesium can be useful during pregnancy or breastfeeding, for those with sleep issues, as part of acute treatment in urgent care settings or for menstrual migraine.

Potential side effects include nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea, which are more likely with certain types of magnesium or if taken on an empty stomach.

Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is another option for migraine prevention. The typical daily dosage is 400 mg, divided into two doses of 200 mg. It is considered safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Side effects include bright yellow urine, nausea, rash and dizziness.

Coenzyme Q10, commonly referred to as CoQ10, is a third option for migraine prevention. The typical recommended dosage is 100 mg three times daily and is best absorbed when taken with fatty foods. Side effects may include upset stomach, rash, poor sleep and dizziness.

There are other supplements like vitamin D and B12 that may also be helpful for the preventive treatment of migraine.

Before starting a new vitamin or supplement, it is important to discuss it with your healthcare provider. They can assist in selecting a reliable source, confirming the correct dosage and ensuring compatibility with any other medications medical conditions.

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*The contents of this video are intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. AMD does not recommend or endorse any treatment, products, or procedures mentioned. Reliance on any information provided by this content is solely at your own risk.