Acute treatment and prevention of menstrually related migraine headache: Evidence-based review

Tamara Pringsheim, William Jeptha Davenport, David Dodick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Menstrually related migraine (MRM) headache is common in women and associated with substantial disability. Compared to nonmenstrual migraine, MRM attacks are more severe, longer in duration, and have a poorer response to analgesics. The purpose of this guideline is to provide a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing therapy trials for MRM and evidence-based recommendations for acute and short-term preventive treatment of MRM headache. Prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trials of any pharmacologic agent for the symptomatic relief or prevention of MRM headache were included in the guideline. The main outcomes considered were the pain response and pain-free response at 2 hours for acute treatment trials, and the incidence of MRM or the number of days on which MRM attacks occurred for short-term prevention trials. Nineteen trials were included in the analysis. The US Preventive Services Task Force quality criteria were used to assess trial quality and to grade recommendations. Based on the evidence, grade B recommendations can be made for the use of sumatriptan 50 and 100 mg, mefenamic acid 500 mg, and rizatriptan 10 mg for the acute treatment of MRM. For the preventive treatment of MRM, there are grade B recommendations for the perimenstrual use of transcutaneous estrogen 1.5 mg, frovatriptan 2.5 mg twice daily, and naratriptan 1 mg twice daily. Choosing among treatment strategies must be based on clinical considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1555-1563
Number of pages9
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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