Pycnogenol may help manage migraine headache symptoms, says recent study


A recently published study found that supplementation with the branded French pinebark extract, Pycnogenol from Horphag Research, may help manage migraine headaches.


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A recently published study1 found that supplementation with the branded French pine bark extract, Pycnogenol from Horphag Research (Hoboken, NJ), may help manage migraine headaches. In the study, 46 subjects were divided into three groups assigned to receive standard management of oral magnesium and riboflavin on demand, 150 mg/day of pycnogenol with standard management, or the medication topiramate for eight weeks. The topiramate group was a non-parallel, observational group.

Results showed Pycnogenol was well-tolerated and compared to standard management, those taking the French pine bark extract had significantly fewer migraine attacks as well as a significantly reduced reliance on rescue medication, such as analgesics. At 8 weeks, pain scores and working incapacity were significantly lower among subjects in the Pycnogenol group compared to standard management.

While topiramate saw significant reductions in migraines, pain scores, and working incapacity compared to standard management, the medication’s adverse effects include paresthesia, fatigue, dizziness and nausea even at low dosages. Half of these side effects require some form of additional treatment. In addition to providing relief to subjects, at eight weeks, plasma free radicals were significantly lower compared to standard management and topiramate.


  1. Cesarone MR et al. “Episodic primary migraine headache: supplementary prophylaxis with Pycnogenol prevents attacks and controls oxidative stress.” Panminerva Medica, vol. 62, no. 2 (2020): 102-108
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