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How do ergotamines work to treat migraine headaches in pregnancy?

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Ergotamines work specifically for migraine pain -- but doctors advise against taking these drugs during pregnancy. They carry a risk of birth defects, especially if taken in the first trimester. These drugs may also stimulate labor contractions and premature birth.

SOURCES:

National Women's Health Information Center: "Migraine."

Migraine Research Foundation: "About Migraine."

OB/GYN News: "Migraine Drugs."

National Headache Foundation: "Migraine."

Northwestern University Medical School and Illinois Department of Public Health: "Migraine Headache and Pregnancy."

American Headache Society: "Commonly Used Acute Migraine Treatments."

U.S. News & World Report: "Migraine Medications May Cause Serotonin Syndrome."

National Guideline Clearinghouse: "Special Treatment Situations: Standards of Care for Headache Diagnosis and Treatment."

HHS: Indian Health Service: Maternal Child Health: "Migraine and Pregnancy."

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Headache."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 22, 2018

SOURCES:

National Women's Health Information Center: "Migraine."

Migraine Research Foundation: "About Migraine."

OB/GYN News: "Migraine Drugs."

National Headache Foundation: "Migraine."

Northwestern University Medical School and Illinois Department of Public Health: "Migraine Headache and Pregnancy."

American Headache Society: "Commonly Used Acute Migraine Treatments."

U.S. News & World Report: "Migraine Medications May Cause Serotonin Syndrome."

National Guideline Clearinghouse: "Special Treatment Situations: Standards of Care for Headache Diagnosis and Treatment."

HHS: Indian Health Service: Maternal Child Health: "Migraine and Pregnancy."

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Headache."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 22, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What other medications can be used to treat migraine headaches in pregnancy?

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