Vitamins & Supplements for Migraines   

Vitamins & Supplements for Migraines

Close-up shot of medicine pills and liquid capsules for migraine.
Clinical Contributors to this story:
Monte B. Pellmar, M.D.

Migraines are severe headaches that are often accompanied by throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, typically on one side of the head. The good news is, there are steps you can take to help lessen the pain associated with migraine attacks, as well as the frequency of such episodes.

Studies have shown that some vitamins and supplements can help alleviate some of these symptoms but the long-term effects of this therapy are not known. Always consult your doctor before adding new supplements to your diet.

“These vitamins and supplements may prove to be helpful but they may also interact poorly with each other, or with other medications you may be taking,” says Monte Pellmar, M.D., neurologist and director of Headache Medicine at the Hackensack Meridian Neuroscience Institute at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “There is no one test for migraine headaches and side effects vary by individual. It’s important to have a program tailored specifically to you and your needs.”

What vitamins and supplements can help?

  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Some studies have shown that taking Vitamin B2 could be helpful in the treatment and prevention of migraines
    • Generally it is well tolerated and has not shown any side effects
  • Vitamin D: Having a Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to increased migraine attacks 
  • Magnesium: Vital to maintaining nerve function, blood pressure and controlling migraines
    • Especially effective during premenstrual migraine attacks
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 may reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.
  • Zinc and Omega 3: May also be beneficial for migraine.

Some of these supplements are not suitable for pregnant women, for those breastfeeding, those with underlying conditions or who already are taking other medications,” Dr. Pellmar says. 

Each patient is different and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. Talk to your health care provider about the best vitamins and supplements to help improve your migraine symptoms for you.

Is there any way to prevent migraines from happening?

There are many lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent your migraine headaches, including:

  • Monitoring your food and drink intake for ‘triggers’ that may spark a migraine 
  • Reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • Do not skip meals
  • Practice stress management
  • Stay hydrated
  • Limit exposure to bright lights

Keeping a journal or recording when your migraines occur can help you to determine what causes them. If you think your migraines may be triggered by mental health concerns such as anxiety, stress or depression, talk to your health care provider about finding ways to manage these conditions. 

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


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