Natural Migraine Relief

Natural Migraine Relief - Melatonin
The Endocrine System and Hormones

Natural Migraine Relief 

Published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, the study compares melatonin, a naturally secreted hormone-like substance, to amitriptyline, the medication typically prescribed for migraine prevention. The study puts this natural compound to the test, investigating migraine relief with melatonin supplementation, comparing both effectiveness and side effects against amitriptyline. For those who suffer the misery of “Migraine disorder”, which is about 12-20% of the world’s population, this neurological condition severely reduces quality of life by producing debilitating pain that often does not subside – even with drug treatment. Half of all patient’s seeking medical support for their migraine disorder, end up giving up the search for relief due to the harsh side effects provided by the use of amitriptyline. The side effects cause both physical and psychiatric disorders, which when compared to a migraine headache, are far worse for the patient and not worth the risk.
Side effects of Amitriptyline Use Include:

  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Nausea
  • Fluttering in the chest
  • Pounding heart
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe constipation
  • Seizures
  • Painful urination
  • Sudden weakness
  • Fever
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Sore throat
  • Easy bruising
  • Diarrhea
  • Shifts in appetite
  • Changes in weight
  • Development of rashes
  • Impotence
  • Itching
  • Decrease in libido

Details about the study:

  • Male and Female subjects between 18-65 years
  • Chronic migraine sufferers who experience 2-8 migraines per month.
  • 196 participants
  • After a 4-week baseline phase, the participants were randomised to placebo, amitriptyline 25 mg or melatonin 3 mg.
  • 178 participants took medication, and the researchers did a follow up within three months.
  • The outcome was measured by how many migraine headaches were experienced per month. Noted was the migraine intensity, the responder rate, the duration of each migraine and analgesic use. Tolerability was also recorded between groups.

Summary of Results:
Reduction in headache frequency: Melatonin 2.7 days
Reduction in headache frequency: Amitriptyline = 2.2 days
Reduction in headache frequency: Placebo= 1.1 days
Melatonin was shown to reduce headache frequency quite significantly in comparison to the placebo, but not with amitriptyline. Melatonin was considered to be a far superior treatment to placebo due to the percentage of patients who experienced 50%+ reduction in migraines. Melatonin was also found to be much safer and more tolerable treatment than the amitriptyline. Those who were participants within the melatonin study group were seen to experience weight loss. Those taking the placebo, as well as the amitriptyline group, had the opposite effect concerning weight, whereby a slight gain was noted during the research period.
The conclusion by the authors: Migraine Relief with Melatonin Supplementation is Preferred
Taking 3mg melatonin offers patients a much better migraine relief than the placebo and is more tolerable than amitriptyline. Melatonin 3mg has been shown to be as effective as amitriptyline 25mg in offering relief to patients suffering from migraine headaches. Migraine headaches and melatonin – the winning combination. Sufferers end up discontinuing amitriptyline and seek to use more natural alternatives, due to the long list of negative side effects experienced from amitriptyline. A notable observation as a result of the study also was that the melatonin-treated participants experienced significant weight loss in comparison to those using the drug amitriptyline, which experienced a weight gain. The study did explain that in some patients, melatonin could have contraindications, such as in those taking opioids or who were actively overusing opioids. There is a caution to these individuals, for melatonin has been known to potentiate opioid analgesia. There are also cautions for patients who are diabetic or have hypertension as melatonin may decrease blood pressure and glucose levels, and therefore monitoring is advised. Natural remedies like Melatonin are getting the respect they deserve and studies like this one, reveal what alternatives we have available that are just as effective with far fewer side effects than traditional migraine medication. The study recommends further analysis into the best and most effective dosage of melatonin alongside its effect in combination with other medications.


  • Lyon, C., & Langner, S. (2017). PURLs: Consider melatonin for migraine prevention. The Journal of family practice, 66(5), 320-322.
  • The Migraine-Melatonin Connection. (2018). Retrieved 9 November 2018, from
  • Alstadhaug K, Salvesen R, Bekkelund S. 24-hour distribution of migraine attacks. Headache. (2008)
  • Gonçalves, A., Martini Ferreira, A., Ribeiro, R., Zukerman, E., Cipolla-Neto, J., & Peres, M. (2016). Randomised clinical trial comparing melatonin 3 mg, amitriptyline 25 mg and placebo for migraine prevention. Journal Of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 87(10), 1127-1132. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2016-313458
  • Peres MF. Melatonin for migraine prevention. Curr Pain Headache Rep. (2011)
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