Migraine is a serious problem in terms of morbidity and health care costs. Recent guidelines recommend migraine prophylaxis if patients have more than two attacks monthly (or fewer attacks that cause severe disability), if abortive agents are ineffective or contraindicated, or if fewer headaches would improve their lives. Recent studies have shown high dose Riboflavin (400mg per day) to be effective in preventing and reducing the duration and severity of a migraine attack.These studies suggest that at least 59% of patients experience an improvement in the frequency and duration of their migraine symptoms (Schoenen et al 1998). The improvement in migraine frequency and severity appears to be reported to be at least 68% (Schoenen et al 1994).The use of Riboflavin as a prophylactic treatment of migraine has both favorable and clinically relevant results. It is well tolerated with side effects limited to diarrhea and ployuria, both occurring in extremely low numbers, thus greatly increasing patient compliance. The effect of riboflavin on migraine begins at 1 month, but was maximal at 3 months. The most pronounced effect is shorter migraine attacks followed by fewer migraine attacks. Treatment with riboflavin is also associated with modest improvement in headache severity, less consumption of anti-migraine drugs and less migraine associated gastrointestinal symptoms.
High-dose riboflavin capsules are available from McKenzies Compounding Chemist. A prescription from the doctor is not required however we encourage each individual patient to have a brief consult with our pharmacists to discuss their unique needs.
McKenzies Chemist is also able to compound ergotamine and caffeine capsules and suppositories that used to be commercially available under the brand name Cafergot which has been discontinued. This is only available on a doctor’s prescription.
If you would like to find out more about treating migraines with compounding, please call our pharmacists on 9272 8726.
Schoenen J, Lenaerts M, Bastings E (1994). High dose riboflavin as a prophylactic treatment of migraine: results of an open pilot study. Cephalagia 1994; 14(5):328-9
Schoenan J, Jacquy J, Lenaerts M (1998). Effectiveness of high-dose riboflavin in migraine prophylaxis. A randomized controlled trail. Neurology 50:466-470.