Melatonin Helps Headaches

Melatonin Helps Headaches


  • Levels of the pineal hormone melatonin have been found to be low in migraine and in cluster headache. Melatonin acts as a biological clock for sleep, an antioxidant, an antihypertensive, an anxiolytic and a sedative.
  • Oral melatonin has shown promising results in migraine prevention.
  • This study demonstrated that 4mg of oral melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime demonstrated a significant reduction in tension type and migraine headaches.
  • Chiropractic neurologists managing headaches may opt to include Melatonin as a headache treatment option.


There is growing evidence that headaches are connected to melatonin secretion. Our aim was to assess the potential effectiveness of melatonin for primary headache prevention.

HeadachesForty-nine patients (37 with migraine and 12 with chronic tension-type headache, TTH) were prescribed oral melatonin, 4 mg, 30 minutes before bedtime for six months. Forty-one (83.6%) of the 49 patients completed the study, while eight dropped out for personal reasons.

A statistically significant reduction in headache frequency was found between baseline and final follow-up after six months of treatment (p=0.033 for TTH patients and p<0.001 for migraineurs). The
Headache Impact Test score was significantly reduced in both groups of headache patients (p=0.002 and p<0.001, respectively).

At baseline, melatonin levels, measured both during a headache attack and a pain-free period, did not differ between patients with TTH and migraineurs (p=0.539 and p=0.693, respectively), and no statistically significant differences in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores were found between the two groups.

This pilot study shows promising results, in terms of headache frequency reduction and daily quality of life improvement, in both groups

Melatonin 4 mg as prophylactic therapy for primary headaches: a pilot study


Bougea A., Spantideas N., Lyras V., Avramidis T., Thomaidis T. Melatonin 4 mg as prophylactic therapy for primary headaches: a Pilot study

Functional Neurology 2016; 31(1): 33-37

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