High-dose riboflavin as a prophylactic treatment of migraine: results of an open pilot study

Cephalalgia. 1994 Oct;14(5):328-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-2982.1994.1405328.x.


If the brain of migraineurs is characterized between attacks by a reduction of mitochondrial phosphorylation potential, riboflavin, which has the potential of increasing mitochondrial energy efficiency, might have prophylactic effects in migraine. In this preliminary open pilot study, 49 patients suffering from migraine (45 without aura, 4 with aura) were treated with 400 mg of riboflavin as a single oral dose for at least 3 months. Twenty-three patients received in addition 75 mg of aspirin. Mean global improvement after therapy was 68.2% and there was no difference between the two groups of patients. With the exception of one patient in the riboflavin plus aspirin group who withdrew because of gastric intolerance, no drug-related side effects were reported. High-dose riboflavin could thus be an effective, low-cost prophylactic treatment of migraine devoid of short-term side effects. A placebo-controlled trial of its efficacy seems worthwhile.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy
  • Migraine Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Riboflavin / administration & dosage
  • Riboflavin / therapeutic use*


  • Aspirin
  • Riboflavin