Coenzyme Q10 and Migraine

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Reviewed April 2022 | Last updated: November 2022

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is found naturally inside the body. Our cells use it for growth and maintenance. Some studies have shown evidence that CoQ10 supplements may help prevent migraine attacks.1

Sources of CoQ10

The body makes CoQ10, but in lower levels, as we age. It is found in meats, fish, and nuts in small amounts. Supplements containing higher levels of CoQ10 come in the form of capsules, tablets, liquids, wafers, and IVs.2

CoQ10 can be purchased without a prescription as a dietary supplement. Because CoQ10 is fat-soluble, it is best absorbed when taken with a meal containing fat.2

Studies on CoQ10 and migraine

Two small studies have found that CoQ10 may help prevent migraine. The first study looked at 31 people who took 150 mg of CoQ10 a day for 3 months. Two out of 3 had half as many headache days by the end of the study. No side effects were reported.3

A small study of 42 people with migraine compared CoQ10 (100 mg taken 3 times daily) to a placebo (fake pill). CoQ10 was 3 times more likely than the placebo in that study to reduce the number of migraine attacks. Some side effects, including stomach upset and skin rash, were reported.4

In children and teens with migraine, a study found CoQ10 relieved migraine symptoms faster in kids than a placebo did in the first 4 weeks. However, this study found no difference in using CoQ10 instead of a placebo in the long term.5

Side effects of CoQ10

CoQ10 is generally considered safe and seems to have few side effects. However, more study is needed to ensure that this is true. Mild side effects have been reported, including:6

These are not all the possible side effects of taking CoQ10. Talk to your doctor about what to expect or if you experience any changes that concern you while taking CoQ10.

Things to know about CoQ10

Do not take CoQ10 if you take blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin. Taking both may increase your risk of a blood clot.6

Before taking CoQ10, tell your doctor if you have:

  • Allergies
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes or take drugs or supplements that impact blood sugar
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Low blood pressure
  • Liver disease

Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or breastfeeding before taking CoQ10.6

Before beginning treatment for migraine, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs. CoQ10 may be “natural,” but it can affect your health and interact with other drugs you take.

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