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Coenzyme Q10 Reduces Migraines from 7.34 to 2.95 Days per Month

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that Coenzyme Q10 can significantly reduce the number of migraine attacks in migraine headache sufferers.

In an open-label study published in 2002, researchers treated 32 patients suffering from episodic migraine with 150 mg of coenzyme Q10 a day for three months. The treatment period was preceded by a 1-month baseline phase, where the number of migraine headaches was measured prior to treatment.

CoenzymeQ10 significantly reduced the average number of days patients experienced migraines. At baseline, the subjects suffered from an average of 7.34 days with migraines per month. After treatment, the days with migraines fell to 2.95 days. More than 61% of the CoQ10-treated patients had a greater than 50% reduction in the number of days with migraine. In addition, mean migraine frequency fell after CoQ10-treatment from 4.85 attacks at baseline to 2.81 at the end of the study. CoenzymeQ10 did not cause any side effects.

The researchers decided to see whether CoenzymeQ10 was effective because CoQ10 is crucial to the proper functioning of the mitochondria. Other scientists have theorized that migraines arise due to mitochondrial dysfunction. Since coenzyme Q10 is widely studied for the treatment of mitochondrial disorders, the researchers hypothesized that it might be effective against migraines. Even so, because there are few agents that prevent migraines, particularly ones without side effects, the researchers were impressed. The lead study author emphasized that their success with CoQ10 indicates a need for future placebo-controlled trials.


Source: Rozen TD et al. Open label trial of coenzyme Q10 as a migraine preventive. Cephalalgia 2002;22:137-141.

Key concepts: Coenzyme Q10, migraine headaches, mitochondrial energy