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Minerva Pediatrica 2020 February;72(1):30-6

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.19.05533-6


lingua: Inglese

Use of nutritional supplements based on melatonin, tryptophan and vitamin B6 (Melamil Tripto®) in children with primary chronic headache, with or without sleep disorders: a pilot study

Carmela BRAVACCIO 1, Gaetano TERRONE 1, Renata RIZZO 2, Mariangela GULISANO 2, Michele TOSI 3, Paolo CURATOLO 3, Leonardo EMBERTI GIALLORETI 4

1 Department of Translational Medical Sciences, Federico II University, Naples, Italy; 2 Section of Pediatrics and Child Neuropsychiatry, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy; 3 Division of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, Department of Neurosciences, University Hospital of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; 4 Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy

BACKGROUND: Headache is one of the main complaints in pediatric neurology. Exogenous melatonin has been shown to be useful and safe in improving sleep-wake cycles and sleep quality in children. Tryptophan as well plays a key role in sleep regulation. So far, no studies tried to analyze the effects of a combination of both melatonin and tryptophan in treating chronic headache in children affected also by night-time awakenings.
METHODS: Thirty-four children with a diagnosis of chronic headache (with or without sleep disorders) have been enrolled. The study was articulated in two steps: 1) each child was observed for one month without any intervention; 2) children have been then randomized into two groups: the “ME-group”, which received the nutritional supplement melatonin for two months and the “MET-group”, which received the nutritional supplements melatonin, tryptophan, and vitamin B6 for two months.
RESULTS: In terms of changes in number of headache events, responders in the ME-group were 91.7% and those in the MET-group were 66.7% (P=0.113). In terms of changes in number of night awakenings, in the ME group, mean number at baseline, after 30 days, and after 60 days were 3.6±3.2, 3.2±3.5, and 2.7±3.4 (P=0.495). In the MET group, mean number of night awakenings was 7.4±8.1, 4.0±4.4, and 3.3±2.9 (P=0.041).
CONCLUSIONS: Using either nutritional supplement for two months can help in decreasing the monthly number of headache episodes and night awakenings. The addition of tryptophan and vitamin B6 appears to have stronger influence on night awakenings reduction than melatonin only.

KEY WORDS: Melatonin; Tryptophan; Headache; Sleep; Sleep initiation and maintenance disorders; Dietary supplements

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