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  Coenzyme Q10 as a migraine preventative


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This substance has been extensively studied, particularly in the stimulation of the immune system and the increase in resistance to disease, and has been shown to have almost no identifiable side effects in humans. There have also been suggestions that coenzyme Q10 could be used as a successful migraine preventative.

An open trial was carried out to assess the efficacy of coenzyme Q10 as a preventative treatment for migraine. 32 patients with a history of episodic migraine with or without aura were treated with coenzyme Q10 at a dose of 150 mg per day. The results relate to 31 patients who completed the study with a 1-month baseline period and a 3-month therapy phase:

  • No adverse effects were associated with the therapy in any of the patients
  • 61.3% of the patients had a greater than 50% reduction in number of days with migraine headache
  • 93.5% of patients had at least a 25% reduction in number of days with migraine
  • Only 2 patients showed no improvement
  • The average number of days with migraine headache during the baseline non treatment phase was 7.34, which decreased to 2.95 days during the last 60 days of treatment
  • The average reduction in migraine frequency after 1 month of treatment was 13.1%, this increased to 55.3% by the end of 3 months of therapy
  • Average migraine frequency was 4.85 during the baseline period, this decreased to 2.81 attacks by the end of the study
  • Headache intensity did not seem to significantly reduce even though total attack days were less
  • The outcomes were as good in patients with migraine with aura as in those without a history of aura

From this study, coenzyme Q10 appears to be a good migraine preventative. The data suggests that coenzyme Q10 starts to work within 4 weeks of initiation of therapy, but usually takes 5 to 12 weeks to yield a greater than 50% reduction in days with migraine.

TD Rozen, ML Oshinsky, CA Gebeline, KC Bradley, WB Young, AL Shecter & SD Silberstein.