You will be hearing more about the hormone melatonin and its use for the prevention of migrane.  Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland and helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle.  Evidence is emerging that exogenous doses may be helpful in reducing the incidence of migrane while having fewer side effects than some of the drugs currently in use.  A multicenter controlled trial showed that 3mg of melatonin was significantly better than placebo with respect to migrane prevention.  The primary outcome seen was a reduction in the number of headache days per month.  Secondary endpoints included reduced migrane intensity, duration, and analgesic use.  The dose studied was 3mg by mouth at bedtime.

There have not been many studies done so far but these results will prompt additional ones which are needed to validate the results seen.  In the meantime melatonin is relatively safe and is available OTC without a prescription.  But if you are planning on trying it be sure to check with your pharmacist about drug interactions.  Most significantly, melatonin may potentiate the effect of warfarin (Coumadin) which could cause bleeding problems.

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