How Vitamin D Can Help Migraines In Young Patients


Vitamin D supplementation may be an effective and safe adjunctive prophylactic therapy to topiramate for children who experience migraine attacks, showed a study conducted in Saudi Arabia.

In children who are subject to migraine attacks, vitamin D supplementation may be an effective and safe adjunctive prophylactic therapy to topiramate, results of a study in Saudi Arabia showed1.

The 56 children (34 girls and 22 boys), who ranged in age from 5 to 14 years had 2 or more headache attacks each week, were not receiving any migraine preventive therapies other than topiramate, and had not taken vitamin D3 supplements within the past 3 months.

The patients were divided into 2 groups. The intervention group received topiramate tablets (2mg per kg of body weight) in 2 daily divided doses along with 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 for 4 consecutive months. The placebo group received only the topiramate along with a placebo.

Investigators observed a good response to treatment in both groups: 76.13% of patients in the intervention group and 53.5% of those in the placebo group.

However, a comparison of migraine characteristics in the 2 groups at the conclusion of the trial showed that D3 supplementation was more effective than placebo in reducing migraine frequency, severity, duration, and disability.

None of the participants experienced serious adverse reactions, though 4 patients in the intervention group and 6 in the placebo group had mild gastrointestinal complaints.

Thoughts From Dr. Farber

The question of whether vitamin D supplementation is helpful for conditions besides rickets (eg, for asthma), remains open to question, with numerous contradictory studies (similar to the arguments as to whether coffee or alcohol in moderation is good or bad). Consider this a small victory, unconfirmed for now, for vitamin D proponents.

This article originally appeared on Contemporary Pediatrics, and in the March 2023 edition of Contemporary PEDS Journal.

1. Elmala MK, Suliman HA, Al-Shokary A, Ibrahim AO, Kamal NM, Elshorbagy HH, Nasef KA, El Din Fathallah MG. The impact of vitamin D3 supplementation to topiramate therapy on pediatric migraine prophylaxis. J Child Neurol. 2022;37(10-11):833-839. doi:10.1177/08830738221092882.
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