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How are menstrual migraines treated?

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An over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen or naproxen may be enough to stop a menstrual migraine. Your doctor can prescribe stronger NSAIDs. Many treat migraine symptoms as well as period cramps.

Drugs called triptans, which treat migraines and cluster headaches, can also treat menstrual migraines. They shrink blood vessels and fight pain.

You'll probably need to take medicine about 1 to 2 days before your period starts for up to week. Some women need to take both a triptan and an NSAID.

Another possible option is a new handheld device called gammaCore. It is a noninvasive vagus nerve stimulator which can be placed on the neck to bring relief from migraine pain.

From: Migraine and Hormones in Women WebMD Medical Reference

American Headache Society: "Menstrual Migraine: New Approaches to Diagnosis and Treatment."   

Cleveland Clinic: "Hormone Headaches Menstrual Migraines."   

UpToDate: "Estrogen-associated migraine."   

Migraine Trust: "Menstrual migraine."   

Mayo Clinic: "Chronic daily headaches."   

Medscape: "Oral Contraceptives in Migraine."   

Hu, Y.  , Jan 30, 2013.    The Journal of Headache and Pain

UpToDate: Preventive treatment of migraine in adults.”   

American Headache Society: “Menstrual Migraine.”   

Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: “Taming The Cycle: How Does the Pill Work?”   

Journal of Headache Pain: “Migraine in women: the role of hormones and their impact on vascular diseases.”

Reviewed by Lawrence C. Newman on January 09, 2019

American Headache Society: "Menstrual Migraine: New Approaches to Diagnosis and Treatment."   

Cleveland Clinic: "Hormone Headaches Menstrual Migraines."   

UpToDate: "Estrogen-associated migraine."   

Migraine Trust: "Menstrual migraine."   

Mayo Clinic: "Chronic daily headaches."   

Medscape: "Oral Contraceptives in Migraine."   

Hu, Y.  , Jan 30, 2013.    The Journal of Headache and Pain

UpToDate: Preventive treatment of migraine in adults.”   

American Headache Society: “Menstrual Migraine.”   

Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: “Taming The Cycle: How Does the Pill Work?”   

Journal of Headache Pain: “Migraine in women: the role of hormones and their impact on vascular diseases.”

Reviewed by Lawrence C. Newman on January 09, 2019

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