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Can Melatonin Cause Migraine Headaches

Clarification Of The Optimal Dose And Formulation Of Melatonin To Be Used In Treatment Of Different Primary Headache Disorders

Optimal melatonin dosing for treatment of each of these headache disorders may differ. Based on the range of doses reported to be effective for different disorders in this review, testing of broad dosing ranges may be needed to establish optimal dosing. Fortunately, even at very high doses melatonin appears to be remarkably safe and without serious side effects. In healthy volunteers, melatonin doses of 20-100 mg orally have been given without adverse effects other than mild transient drowsiness. In neonates doses of 10 mg/kg intravenously have been given without apparent toxicity in the treatment of procedural pain. Patients with metastatic melanoma were treated with melatonin 700 mg/m2/day for a median treatment follow-up of 5 weeks without apparent toxicity other than fatigue. There has been some concern that elevated melatonin levels are associated with nocturnal asthma, however, it is unclear to what extent this is of clinical significance. Longer-term treatment trials have also supported melatonin’s excellent safety profile—for example, no serious adverse events occurred in the 8–12 week migraine preventive trials,, and longer term treatment durations of 6 months or more for migraine, sleep, and other indications have also not raised safety issues., –

Melatonin Benefits More Than Sleep For Migraines It Can Be An Unexpected And Effective Treatment Option

UHN Staff

Melatonin has also been know to help treat jet lag, Alzheimer’s, glaucoma, and tinnitus.

The crushing pain, nausea, and light sensitivity of a migraine headache can wreak havoc on the lives of migraine sufferers. For many, the only treatment options are heavy-duty pharmaceuticals with many unpleasant side effects. And those don’t even work for everyone. But research is pointing to surprising melatonin benefits that may offer new hope to migraineurs.

Melatonin, most commonly known as the sleep hormone, helps to control our circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when it is time to sleep. Although it’s primary function is biological timekeeping, researchers have found that it can also modulate and decrease pain, possibly playing an important a role in migraine prevention. 

Elucidation Of The Mechanism Of Benefit Of Melatonin In Different Primary Headache Disorders

There are a number of possible mechanisms by which melatonin may benefit primary headache disorders, including improved circadian rhythm regulation and/or improved sleep. Melatonin also acts as an antioxidant, and has analgesic and anxiolytic properties—which may be mediated by its ability to enhance GABA signaling, increase beta-endorphin release, and inhibit nitric oxide production., –

Dysregulated expression of certain circadian genes has been found in exploratory analysis in cluster headache patients. Additional research is needed in bother cluster headache and migraine to determine whether melatonin’s therapeutic benefit is through improved sleep vs improvement in circidan rhythm regulation more generally. Mobile actigraphy could be used in future research to monitor participants’ sleep-wake cycles. If improvement in migraine frequency is mediated through improved sleep it would be helpful to identify which aspect of sleep—sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency, or total sleep time—best correlates with improvement in headache frequency. As mobile health devices become increasingly available, such knowledge could allow for a “personalized medicine” approach to therapy as baseline circadian data that patients collect at home could be used to determine a priori whether they are likely to benefit from a melatonin treatment trial.

Feeling Headachy After Taking Melatonin Doctors Explain Why There Could Be A Link

While sleep aids like melatonin shouldn’t be taken long-term, there’s no denying its power to help you get through a particularly rough patch of sleeplessness or even jet lag. As with any supplement or medicine, though, you might experience side effects while taking melatonin. POPSUGAR asked doctors about melatonin-induced headaches, specifically. Here’s what you need to know.

Ask The Doctors: Melatonin And Coq10 Have Been Shown To Prevent Migraines

Melatonin and Migraines: Does It Work?

  • Nov 21, 2017

DEAR DOCTOR:I’ve suffered with migraines for years, and my doctor wants to give me a daily medication to prevent them. I’m reluctant to rely too heavily on drugs. Aren’t there any vitamins or non-prescription medications I can take to prevent migraines?

DEAR READER: The short answer is yes: You can reduce your risk of migraines through non-prescription methods — and you’re not alone in trying to do so. Migraines affect about 12 percent of people in the United States, occurring more often in women, in people between the ages of 30 and 39, and within families.

The headaches can last for hours or up to three days, causing an inability to focus and significant lost productivity. A retrospective analysis of migraine sufferers found that emotional stress was a trigger for 80 percent of them, missing a meal was a trigger for 57 percent, and lack of sleep was a trigger for 50 percent.

When it comes to behavioral interventions, relaxation techniques, cognitive therapy, consistent aerobic exercise and good sleep hygiene can all decrease the frequency of migraines. Now let’s look at the data on nutritional supplements.

Then there’s the B vitamin riboflavin. A small 1998 study found that 59 percent of people who took a daily dose of 400 milligrams had a greater than 50 percent reduction in the frequency of migraines, compared to 15 percent of those who took a placebo. However, it took three months for riboflavin to show this benefit.

Melatonin Tops Amitriptyline In >50% Improvement In Headache Frequency

This RCT conducted in Brazil compared the effectiveness of melatonin to amitriptyline and placebo for migraine prevention in 196 adults with chronic migraines.1 Eligible patients had a history of at least 3 migraine attacks or 4 migraine headache days per month. Patients were randomized to take identically-appearing melatonin 3 mg, amitriptyline 25 mg, or placebo nightly. The investigators appear to have concealed allocation adequately, and used double-blinding.

The primary outcome was the number of headache days per month, comparing baseline with the 4 weeks of treatment. Secondary endpoints included reduction in migraine intensity, duration, number of analgesics used, and percentage of patients with more than 50% reduction in migraine headache days.

An estimated 38% of patients with migraines are appropriate candidates for prophylactic therapy, but only 3% to 13% are taking preventive medications.

Compared to placebo, headache days per month were reduced in both the melatonin group and the amitriptyline group at 12 weeks, based on intention-to-treat analysis. Mean headache intensity was also lower at 12 weeks in the melatonin group and in the amitriptyline group , when compared to placebo.

Headache duration at 12 weeks was reduced in both groups , as was the number of analgesics used when compared to placebo. There was no significant difference between the melatonin and amitriptyline groups for these outcomes.

The Role Of Melatonin In The Treatment Of Primary Headache Disorders

Department of Neurology, UCSF Pediatric Headache, San Francisco, CA, USA

NIHR-Wellcome Trust King’s Clinical Research Facility, King’s College, UK, London

Department of Neurology, UCSF Pediatric Headache, San Francisco, CA, USA

NIHR-Wellcome Trust King’s Clinical Research Facility, King’s College, UK, London

Funding Support: There was no specific funding for this review article. Dr. Gelfand was receiving research salary support from the NIH while preparing this article.

Side Effects Of Melatonin: 8 Groups Should Avoid Taking Melatonin


Melatonin, also known as the ‘hormone of darkness’ is a hormone responsible for the regulation of your sleep-wake cycle. However, promoting and regulating sleep is only one of its physiological functions.

This hormone plays an important role in bodily functions, the functions of organs like the kidney or liver, and helps regulate blood pressure and cardiovascular issues. Melatonin is also shown useful in cases of tumors and cancers, where it prevents oxidative stress to promote the growth of cancerous cells.

Now, all of this sounds rather impressive, and sure enough, because melatonin is a naturally produced hormone coming from the very brain, no one would suspect it harmful. However, melatonin supplements, on the other hand, are raising some eyebrows in the medical community.

Over the past few years, melatonin supplements have been studied concerning their possible side effects. Turns out, melatonin intake can cause a dozen of adverse effects, which can pose a long-term danger. In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a look at the major side effects, every melatonin producing company would hide from you. So, let’s get started!

Melatonin Is Good For Migraine Headaches Study Results Show

Melatonin: it’s more than just a sleep aid.

Melatonin is commonly known and widely used as a sleep aid, but there may be additional benefits. It’s a naturally occurring hormone secreted by the pineal gland, which regulates our circadian rhythms. High levels of melatonin have been linked to decreased pain intensity, and some study results have shown that melatonin supplements decrease pain sensations in patients with migraine headaches, cluster headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia.1

Melatonin has been linked to a variety of mechanisms related to the pathophysiology of headaches such as its anti-inflammatory effects, toxic free radical scavenging, reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokine up-regulation, inhibition of nitric oxide synthase activity and dopamine release, GABA and opioid analgesia potentiation, glutamate neurotoxicity protection, neurovascular regulation, and serotonin modulation.2 Melatonin’s chemical structure is also very similar to indomethacin, a common NSAID used for a plethora of pain conditions.

In a clinical trial, 3 mg of melatonin reduced the overall frequency, intensity, and duration of headaches.2 Eighty percent of the participants reported a 50% decrease in headache frequency and 25% saw a complete remission of headaches.2 Women participants in this study also reported an improvement of their menstrual migraines.


Related Content:

Melatonin As A Potential Prophylactic Therapy For Menstrual

Abbas Tafakhori1, **

1Iranian Center of Neurological Research, Neuroscience Institute, Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2Maternal Fetal and Neonatal Research Center, Vali-e-Asr Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Corresponding Authors:

How to Cite:MohammadyahyaE, SarrafP, JavadianN, ShariatM, BitarafanS, et al. Melatonin as a Potential Prophylactic Therapy for Menstrual-Related Migraine Headache: A Randomized Clinical Trial,Arch Neurosci.2020; 7:e94375. doi: 10.5812/ans.94375.


Archives of Neuroscience:7 Article Type:

Natural Supplements For Regulating Healthy Estrogen Levels

  • I3C and/or DIM : DIM is a component of I3C. For people over age 40 years, DIM may actually be a better choice, because in order to convert I3C to DIM, adequate stomach acid is needed and many people over 40 years old have reduced stomach acid. . In any case, DIM is completely natural and it encourages the formation of good estrogen metabolites, while decreasing the bad estrogen metabolites that naturally occur with metabolism. In excess, however, DIM may lower thyroid hormone, so be cautious. DIM and I3C are also known to help calm painful menstrual cycles, and support prostate health.
  • Vitex Agnus Castus or Chasteberry: this supplement can help support progesterone production. Additionally, it may help with headaches, acne, breast tenderness, depression, premenstrual syndrome, and help normalize irregular cycles by improving ovulation. In menopausal women, it may ease hot flashes.
  • Black Cohosh: this herbal remedy and phytoestrogen used in menopause to control hot flashes, and anecdotally, it may help reduce headache frequency. It is also known as mugwort or Cimicifuga reacemosa. Insects hate black cohosh.

Recommended Plan Of Action For Improving Hormonal Balance

  • See a bioidentical replacement therapy specialist to determine your specific hormone imbalance , rather than seeing someone who will give you a prescription for a symptom.


  • Avoid fake estrogens: remove foods in plastic wrappers or containers that consist of xenoestrogens , which contribute to the estrogen load. These type of estrogens are more difficult for your body to get rid of, and they disrupt endocrine function. Also, xenoesterogens are found in fragranced popular dryer sheets and laundry detergents, which then permeate your clothing when you wash and dry them, and then come in contact with your skin when you wear them. These can disrupt endocrine function

Works For Most: Vitamin B Feverfew Melatonin Butterbur

Can melatonin cause morning headaches

Vitamin B2: A Belgian study found that 60 per cent of people who took 400 milligrams of this vitamin everyday had half their usual number of migraines.

Feverfew: This popular herb offers “mild and transient” benefits, according to British researchers, but in a recent study of a feverfew extract containing a consistent level of parthenolide, migraines were reduced from five per month to three. Further research shows there is conflicting evidence on the effectiveness of this herb.

Melatonin: Two-thirds of study participants who took melatonin before going to bed every night for three months said the number of migraines they experienced dropped by 50 per cent.

Butterbur-based remedies: One expert calls these “the best safety-tested herbal to date for the treatment of headache.” According to the journal Neurology, 68 per cent of those who took a butterbur product called Petadolex saw the number of migraines they experienced drop by 50 per cent.

Got a bad case of indigestion? Try these home remedies.

Use Of Melatonin: Can It Help With Migraine Headaches

Daniel Smith

Melatonin is a hormone produced by ourbody. This hormone is created by the pineal gland, located inside ourbrain and the main purpose it has is regulating our sleep patternsand controlling our internal clock.

Therefore, people who experiencesleeping problems may be undergoing these difficulties due to lack ofmelatonin in their bodies. Fortunately, people have managed to createthis hormone synthetically and it can be taken as a supplement,helping individual overcome their sleeping issues.

Where is Melatonin Used?

There are several main usages ofmelatonin. Most commonly, it is used for treating sleeping disorderssuch as insomnia or jet lag. However, we have to bear in mind thatsleep disorders commonly appear at old age due to a natural decreaseof melatonin production in our body.

Also, melatonin can be used fortreatment of cluster headaches or migraines. Additionally, it is ahormone commonly involved in the treatment of cancer, when beingcombined with the standard cancer treatments.

Furthermore, melatonin is used fordealing with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or fibromyalgiaor even the chronic fatigue syndrome.

Some of these usages of melatonin havebeen proven effective. Yet, there are many which are yet to be fullyproven. Nevertheless, the melatonin supplements have their place inthe modern medicine, even though their effects are not fully knownyet.

Side-effects and Safety Measures

Can It Help with Migraine Headaches?

Melatonin For Cluster Headaches / Prevention / Dosage

We can all agree that a cluster headache is definitely not just a regular headache.

Luckily, the etiology of a cluster headache is very similar to a migraine so by applying the same principles we can get amazing relief and healing.

In this article, I will be talking about melatonin for cluster headaches, what studies have shown, why it helps and how it’s used.

Thoughts On Natural Treatment Of Menstrual Migraines

  • samAugust 16, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    I´m still struggling with headaches on between days 4 to 6. I take progesterone and fish oil to successfully control the other migranes at other times.

    These migranes are debilitating. I´m not iron deficient. Could it be something to do with a rise in FSH at this time? I´m 50.

    Thanks to anyone who can contribute.

  • July 20, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    Hi LaraI am a big fan of yours , entire monster feeling of perimenopause gave me a perspective after started reading your bookI am on prometium, it’s helping me in a lot of areas you mentioned, but I couldn’t get debilitating breast pain under control, is there any equivalent pills available in Australia or Nz for “violet pill”?Thanks for your response

  • July 20, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    Violet is 3 mg iodine with selenium.An alternative is Iosol brand from iHerb which gives 1.8 mg per droplet. . But be careful and test for thyroid antibodies if you can. And then take selenium separately.

  • Ok thank you, that sounds good. I will! ?

  • August 13, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I’m just a fellow reader, but I also suffer that ov/menstrual migraine pattern. My experience with pregnancy was that I had bad headaches during the first trimester, and no migraines the rest of the pregnancy. The migraines returned once I was cycling again, although I didn’t get my period back for at least 4-5 months after my daughter was born . I would love to hear Lara’s take on this. And please say they go away after menopause! : )

  • What Should You Do If You Still Need Help Sleeping

    Dr. Pathak’s first recommendation is to check in with your doctor, especially if insomnia is a prevalent issue you’re experiencing. Your doctor can rule out any underlying conditions that might be contributing to your sleep issues, and help you find a solution that works for you, without any side effects. You may still be able to use melatonin on occasion, but perhaps in a different formula or dose.

    Natural Supplements For Improving Thyroid Function

    • Iodine: see above “Natural Supplements for Regulating Healthy Estrogen Levels.”
    • Selenium: this nutrient is necessary for the conversion of the inactive thyroid to the active thyroid, T3. Recommended intake of 50-100 mcg daily is suggested and can be obtained by eating two Brazil nuts per day. Other selenium-rich foods include walnuts, tuna, shrimp, eggs, cheese, turkey, beef and oatmeal.
    • Ashwagandha: this botanical helps make thyroid hormone and provides antioxidant protection.
    • Tyrosine: an amino acid that is needed for production of thyroid hormone and useful to people with hypothyroidism. It should be avoided with hyperthyroidism. Recommended dosage is 50 to 200 mg daily. Nutrients that assist the body in converting the tyrosine to thyroid hormone include B vitamins like B6 and folate, as well as a small amount of copper. Note: avoid tyrosine if you have high blood pressure or cardiac palpitations.
    • Mullein: this herb can reduce migraine suffering, while also nourishing the thyroid gland and creating more thyroid hormone.
    • Japanese Knotweed: this herb supports thyroid health. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
    • Zinc: like selenium, this mineral is needed to convert inactive T4 to active T3. Zinc is inactivated by the body by medications, including acid blockers, estrogen-containing hormones and corticosteroids.

    Is Melatonin Good For Headaches And Tmd Sufferers

    A debilitating condition that causes a variety of confusing symptoms, temporomandibular joint disorder often leaves sufferers with extremely painful headaches. Many times, people believe they’re suffering from migraines when they are actually enduring a common symptom of TMD. If TMD causes your frequent headaches, melatonin isn’t likely to have much of an effect, since it won’t impact the root cause of the problem: your misaligned bite. Although melatonin may prevent migraines, if your misaligned bite causes the migraines, it won’t help.

    The Melatonin Side Effects You Should Know About

    Yes, it could cause insomnia.

    If you’re like the 88 percent of women regularly not sleeping through the night , you’ve probably found yourself looking for alternatives to counting sheep.

    Last year, the National Institutes of Health reported that 3.1 million Americans used melatonin supplements to fall asleep. “Melatonin is a natural hormone secreted by your brain that helps regulate your circadian rhythm, or when your body wants to wake up and go to sleep,” says Jocelyn Cheng, M.D., a neurologist at NYU Langone Health.

    Studies have actually shown that melatonin can help people with sleep disorders fall asleep anywhere between 27 and 50 minutes faster.

    But before you go buy out your local vitamin shop’s stock, remember: “A supplement is not a regulated drug, so there’s always a question as to whether you’re getting what it claims to be,” warns Rachel Salas, M.D., a neurologist with a focus on sleep disorders and sleep medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

    One study actually found that 71 percent of melatonin supplements did not meet the claims on the label, with some listing up to five times the amount of the hormone than it actually contained. Look for supplements displaying seals from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention or NSF International so you know the manufacturers are legit.

    41 Percent Of Americans Prefer To Sleep Alone

    Of course, like any drug or supplement, melatonin can come with some side effects.

    Decreased Melatonin Levels In Migraine Patients

    Feeling Headachy After Taking Melatonin? Doctors Explain ...

    Strengthening the link between melatonin and migraine, multiple studies have found that patients with migraine have significantly lower melatonin levels at night than healthy controls. Perhaps even more interesting is that melatonin levels in migraine patients do not increase during the menstrual cycle the way that they normally do, implicating melatonin as a factor in menstrual migraine, a very common occurrence for women.

    How Do You Know Melatonin Doesnt Help Migraines

    Most migraine sufferers experience visual disturbances at the onset of a headache. If you don’t notice bright lights, blurriness or any sort of aura; you may not be experiencing a traditional migraine headache. Additionally, if you experience headaches with jaw popping, jaw pain, facial tenderness, and chewing difficulties you may have temporomandibular joint disorder. The location of the migraine can really tell you a lot, like what causes it.

    Dr. Ryan Reeves, DDSTMJ

    A Controlled Study With Melatonin For Migraine

    Recently, researchers in Norway carried out more in-depth research around this issue by conducting a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 48 men and women who were experiencing between 2-7 migraine attacks per month. In this type of study, one group of subjects receives the “real thing”—the active substance being tested, in this case, melatonin. The other half receives a ‘sugar pill’ designed to appear, as much as possible, like the real thing. Individuals in both groups don’t know whether they are getting the real treatment or placebo . Furthermore, the researchers administering placebo and real treatment also do not know which of their patients are getting which treatment thereby making it a “double-blind” study. People were asked to join the study after volunteering, keeping a headache diary and filling out a questionnaire which included an evaluation of their sleep patterns and quality of sleep. In order to enter the study, they had to indicate they were having at least 2-7 migraines per month and be able to tell the difference between a migraine headache and one that that was not migraine in origin. They also had to have relatively low use of other medications including preventive migraine drugs.

    Adverse Effects Of Melatonin Intake: Overview

    Consumption of food supplements that contain melatonin or mainly contain melatonin has shown adverse effects in numerous studies. The most frequently reported side effects include; headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, tremors, migraine, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, nightmares, vivid dreams, and irritability. There were even cases of supplement abuse for suicide attempts through melatonin overdose.

    The reason for such adverse effects was traced to an incorrect presentation of the amount of melatonin a bottle of supplements truly contains. Investigation shows that melatonin supplement bottles can have 4 times more melatonin than indicated. This can affect one’s health significantly, because of the higher the dose, the serious and more frequent side effects.

    However, this is not the only reason side effects occur. Sometimes, doctors do NOT prescribe a suitable dosage, or the patients decide to dose themselves as they want. Some people even tend to drink alcohol with melatonin, hoping to emphasize the sedative effects. But, they just cause even more serious side effects.

    Can Other Sleeping Problems Trigger Migraines

    Research has found that not only too little sleep , but also too much sleep can trigger migraines. While restful sleep can relieve migraine symptoms while they are ongoing, sleeping extensively may make problems worse. The term “weekend migraine” is often used to refer to migraines that commonly occur in individuals sleeping in on weekends to make up for lost sleep during the week.

    The relationship between sleep deprivation and migraines is also bidirectional. This means that sleep disturbances can trigger migraines, but migraines can also negatively impact our sleep. Migraines can leave us feeling exhausted and excessively sleepy, which may disrupt our sleep-wake cycle.


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