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Table 2 Summary of Articles Demonstrating Niacin's Effectiveness for the Treatment of Migraine Headaches, Tension-type Headaches, and Headaches of other Etiologies

From: The treatment of migraines and tension-type headaches with intravenous and oral niacin (nicotinic acid): systematic review of the literature

Reference Condition n Protocol Outcome Evidence Grade
9 Migraine headaches 21 One initial intramuscular injection (IM) followed by a series of 6 or 8 intravenous (IV) treatments (maximum 50 mg), then regular IM injections (25–50 mg) combined with 50–150 mg of oral administration. 17 of the 21 subjects had a positive response. C: case-series
10 Headaches of different etiologic types 100 100 mg of IV sodium nicotinate or niacin. 75 of the 100 subjects had complete relief. C: case-series
11 Migraine headaches 15 100 mg of IV niacin, and an additional 50–200 mg if necessary to ensure a flushing response of more than 15-minutes. 13 of the 15 subjects had a positive response. The headaches were relieved in 27 of the 31 times when niacin was administered by IV administration. C: case-series
12 Tension headaches 35 22 subjects received 100–200 mg of IV niacin for a total of 53 times. 13 of the 22 subjects had a positive response. The headaches were relieved in 41 of the 53 times when niacin was administered by IV administration. C: case-series
14 Emotional or tension headaches 5 100 mg of IV niacin regularly for 12 weeks combined with a graded schedule of oral dosing, beginning at 300 mg daily, increasing to 900 mg daily, and tapering down to 300 mg daily. All 5 cases of emotional or tension headaches were very responsive to both IV and oral niacin. C: case-series
15 Tension headaches accompanied with depression 50 100 mg of IV niacin regularly for 23 weeks and then continued once every 2 months and as needed. This was combined with a graded schedule of oral dosing, beginning at 300 mg daily, increasing to 900 mg daily, and tapering down to 300 mg daily. In 44 of the 50 subjects the results with niacin therapy were very satisfactory or favorable. C: case-series
18 Migraine headaches 1 300–500 mg of niacin were chewed and allowed to slightly dissolve in the mouth. Resolution of migraine headaches. C: case-report
6 Migraine Headaches 2 500 mg of oral niacin taken at the onset of acute symptoms. In 2 of the 2 subjects, niacin aborted the acute migraine symptoms. In the first subject, niacin resolved the acute attacks in 4 of 4 occasions. In the other subject, niacin resolved the attack on one occasion. C: case-report
7 Migraine headaches 1 375 mg of oral sustained-release niacin twice daily for 1 month, and 375 mg once daily for 2 months. Migraine-free for the first month, and a marked reduction in migraine headaches over the next 2 months. C: Case-report