Effectiveness of riboflavin as prophylaxis of paediatric migraine


  • Mithun A. R. Kumaran Cambridge University Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust, Cambridge, United Kingdom




Migraine, Prophylaxis, Paediatric, Riboflavin


Paediatric migraine headache is a common condition for which there is no general consensus on the choice of prophylactic. Riboflavin has been considered as a potential prophylactic which is well tolerated. This review examines the current literature regarding the efficacy of riboflavin as a prophylactic. There have been mixed results from both retrospective studies as well as randomised controlled trials. Whilst the adverse effect profile is minimal compared to other migraine prophylactics, further well-designed studies with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up are required.


Abu-Arafeh I, Razak S, Sivaraman B, Graham C. Prevalence of headache and migraine in children and adolescents: a systematic review of population-based studies. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2010;52(12):1088-97.

Wanders RJ, Ruiter, JP, IJLst L, Waterham HR, Houten SM. The enzymology of mitochondrial fatty acid beta-oxidation and its application to follow-up analysis of positive neonatal screening results. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2010;33(5):479-94.

Welch KM, Levine SR, D'Andrea G, Schultz LR, Helpern JA. Preliminary observations on brain energy metabolism in migraine studied by in vivo phosphorus 31 NMR spectroscopy. Neurology. 1989;39(4):538-41.

MacLennan SC, Wade FM, Forrest KM, Ratanayake PD, Fagan E, Antony J. High-dose riboflavin for migraine prophylaxis in children: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Child Neurol. 2008;23(11):1300-4.

Macedo A, Baños JE, Farré M. Placebo response in the prophylaxis of migraine: a meta-analysis. European J Pain. 2008;12(1):68-75.

Bruijn J, Duivenvoorden H, Passchier J, Locher H, Dijkstra N, Arts WF. Medium-dose riboflavin as a prophylactic agent in children with migraine: a preliminary placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blind, cross-over trial. Cephalalgia An Int J Headache. 2010;30(12):1426-34.

Athaillah YD, Saing JH, Saing HB, Lelo A. Riboflavin as migraine prophylaxis in adolescents. Paediatrica Indon. 2012;52(3):132‐7.

Condò M, Posar A, Arbizzani A, Parmeggiani A. Riboflavin prophylaxis in pediatric and adolescent migraine. J Headache Pain. 2009;10(5):361-5.

Thompson DF, Saluja HS. Prophylaxis of migraine headaches with riboflavin: A systematic review. J Clin Pharmacy Therap. 2017;42(4):394-403.

Talebian A, Soltani B, Banafshe HR, Moosavi GA, Talebian, M, Soltani S. Prophylactic effect of riboflavin on pediatric migraine: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Electronic Physician J. 2018;10(2):6279-85.

Das R, Qubty W. Retrospective Observational Study on Riboflavin Prophylaxis in Child and Adolescent Migraine. Pediatr Neurol. 2020;114:5-8.

Zempleni J, Galloway JR, McCormick DB. Pharmacokinetics of orally and intravenously administered riboflavin in healthy humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1996;63(1):54-66.






Review Articles