Health & Fitness

Melatonin and Migraine

Kristen Sparrow • June 18, 2017

Woman with Headache
Acupuncture Helps With Migraines

I recommend Melatonin and Magnesium as safe options for migraine prevention.  This article looks at one possible mechanism for melatonin’s effectiveness in menstrual migraine.  The dosage of melatonin needs to be adjusted since too much (even above 3 mg in many people) can lead to paradoxical wakefulness or morning drowsiness.  As much as 1/2 mg is enough in many people.

Acta Neurol Belg. 2017 Jun 5. doi: 10.1007/s13760-017-0803-x. [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of melatonin on gene expression of calcitonin gene-related peptide and some proinflammatory mediators in patients with pure menstrual migraine.


The neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a potent vasoactive and a marker of trigeminal inflammation, has been considered as an important mediator in various types of migraine such as pure menstrual migraine. Earlier studies have shown that CGRP can modulate the synthesis and release of other inflammatory factor including nitric oxide (NO) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) from trigeminal ganglion glial cells. Exogenous melatonin protects the tissues from inflammatory damages. The goal of this study was to determine the anti-inflammatory effects of melatonin on the CGRP expression, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity, NO, and IL-1β release in cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from pure menstrual migraine patients and healthy subjects. This study was performed on 12 pure menstrual migraine patients and 12 age-and sex-matched healthy subjects. PBMCs were isolated and treated with melatonin for 12 h at pharmacological dose. Gene expression was evaluated by real-time PCR. CGRP and IL-1β proteins in culture supernatant were determined by ELISA method. iNOS activity in PBMCs was determined by colorimetric assays. Total nitrite as an indicator of NO concentrations in the culture supernatants was measured using Griess method. We found that melatonin treatment significantly decreases mRNA expression of CGRP release, NO production, and iNOS activity in the patient groups. Taken together, it appears that melatonin reduces inflammation through decreasing CGRP level and iNOS activity in the patients with migraine; however, further studies are needed in this regard.