Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) in children has been closely related to migraine. In fact, the symptoms are common in migraine, and recent studies suggest that CVS may actually be a type of migraine. Abdominal migraine is common in children, and stomach pain and vomiting are common (more on abdominal migraine symptoms).
Various treatments have been used for abdominal migraine and CVS – many familiar to migraineurs in general, such as biofeedback, beta-blockers, and triptans. Another common treatment is amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant with brand names such as Endep and Elavil.
Coenzyme Q10 is increasingly popular as a migraine preventative, in part because of its few side effects. So, a study published in January (2010) set out to compare amitriptyline with co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) as a treatment for CVS. 162 patients took amitriptyline, and 22 took CoQ10.
Patients were watched for common aspects of a CVS attack – frequency, duration, number of times child throws up, nausea severity. 72% of the patients taking amitriptyline saw at least a 50% reduction in one of these things. 68% of patients taking coenzyme Q10 experienced at least a 50% reduction in one of these things.
So, amitriptyline is "better", right? Not so fast.
50% of patients reported side effects with the amitriptyline, and in fact 21% had to discontinue treatment!
Side effects with the coQ10? 0% of patients. None.
Not only is this an encouraging result for those thinking of trying CoQ10 for CVS, it’s also encouraging for (other) migraine patients who are thinking about it. CoQ10 continues to be a good option with very few side effects. It’s an up-and-coming preventative for children as well as adults.