Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

What is Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is a water-soluble vitamin found in such foods as milk, meat (especially liver and kidney), eggs, nuts, enriched flour, and green vegetables.

Whole grains and cereals are not good sources.

It is used to treat and prevent vitamin B2 deficiency, although a true riboflavin-deficiency disease state has not been described in humans.

Since several of the water-soluble B-vitamins are involved in numerous metabolic pathways, a disease state often indicates deficiencies of multiple vitamins. In pellagra, there is a deficiency of both niacin and riboflavin.

Riboflavin has been used to treat microcytic anemia associated with splenomegaly and glutathione reductase deficiency.

Use of riboflavin was approved by the FDA in 1940. In 1998, mega-doses of riboflavin were shown to effectively reduce the incidence of migraine headache.


  • anemia
  • migraine prophylaxis
  • nutritional supplementation
  • riboflavin deficiency

Side Effects

  • urine discoloration

Riboflavin in normal dietary dosages produces no adverse reactions. Large doses have caused bright yellow urine discoloration, which has resulted in interference with urinalysis results.

Riboflavin can produce fluorescent substances in the urine and plasma, which could result in false elevations in fluorometric determinations of catecholamines and urobilinogen.

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • breast-feeding
  • pregnancy


There are no drug interactions associated with Riboflavin, Vitamin B2 products.


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