Melatonin: Case Studies Indicate Hormone May Relieve Cluster Headaches

Two case studies suggest that melatonin may have an ability to provide relief from cluster headaches.

Physicians at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia report administering melatonin to two patients with long-standing chronic cluster headaches. The patients pain disappeared after melatonin treatment, the physicians reported in the journal Cephalalgia.

For both patients, the scenario was the same: they experienced daily headaches and nightly headaches within 40 minutes to an hour after falling asleep.

The first patient was a 38-year-old male who had been experiencing approximately six headaches per day for at least 10 months a year for the past 20 years. Fourteen days was the longest remission he had experienced. The authors treated the man with 9 mg of melatonin daily at bed time in conjunction with his usual anti-headache medication. Two days later the headaches disappeared and remained gone for the 6 months follow-up.

The second patient, 40 years old, had suffered from excruciating headaches 3 times a day for 8 years. Two weeks was the longest hed gone without experiencing a headache, even on his medication. The subject began taking 9 mg daily of melatonin, along with his pharmaceutical headache medication. For the eight months of follow-up, he remained headache free.

Although these patients reported upon in Cephalalgia also took pharmaceutical agents in addition to melatonin, study author Dr. Rozen has had success treating headache patients with melatonin alone. Hes also successfully used melatonin to treat other types of headaches, including migraines.

Peres MFP, Rozen TD. Cephalgia. 2001;21:993-995.

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