Definition of Menstrual migraine

Reviewed on 6/3/2021

Menstrual migraine: A migraine headache that affects a woman each month between the 2nd day before the start of the menstrual period and the end of menstruation. Menstrual migraine is different from nonmenstrual attacks of migraine, even in the same women, in the regularity of its timing and its greater severity. Compared with other times in the menstrual cycle, a migraine is more than twice as likely to occur during the first 3 days of menstruation and more than three times as likely to be severe.

Prophylactic treatment with a triptan for 6 days beginning 2 days before the anticipated start of the menstrual migraine reduces the incidence of migraine by at least a half. The triptans act as agonists for 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors and include sumatriptan (Imitrex), rizatriptan (Maxalt), naratriptan (Amerge), zolmitriptan (Zomig), eletriptan (Relpax), lmotriptan (Axert), and frovatriptan (Frova).

Menstrual migraine is also called menstrually associated migraine (MAM).

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