Original article| Volume 42, ISSUE 7, P523-528, August 2020

Effectiveness of low-dose riboflavin as a prophylactic agent in pediatric migraine



      Riboflavin may prevent migraine episodes; however, there is limited evidence of its effectiveness in pediatric populations. This study investigated the effectiveness of riboflavin and clinical predictors of response in children with migraines.


      We retrospectively reviewed data from 68 Japanese children with migraines, of whom 52 also exhibited another type of headache. Patients received 10 or 40 mg/day of riboflavin. We evaluated the average migraine frequency per month as a baseline and after 3 months of riboflavin therapy to determine the effectiveness and clinical predictors of response.


      The frequency of migraine episodes was significantly lower at 3 months than at baseline (median, [interquartile range], 5.2 (3–7) vs. 4.0 (2–5); p < 0.01). Twenty-five patients (36.7%) showed 50% or greater reduction in episode frequency (responders), while 18 (26.5%) showed a 25%–50% reduction. We compared responders (n = 25) and non-responders (n = 43) and found no significant differences in sex, familial history, riboflavin dose, migraine type (i.e., presence or absence of aura), age at headache onset, or age at consultation. However, non-responders were more likely to have co-morbid non-migraine headaches (odds ratio, 4.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.27–13.33; p = 0.02); this variable was also significant in a multivariate analysis (adjusted odds ratio, 3.8; 95% CI, 1.16–12.6; p = 0.03). Of the co-morbid headache types, only tension headaches were significant (odds ratio, 0.176; 95% CI, 0.04–0.73; p = 0.013). No adverse effects of riboflavin were identified.


      Low-dose riboflavin is safe and modestly effective for migraines in children. It may be especially beneficial for children without other co-morbid headache types.


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