Diagnosis and treatment of the menstrual migraine patient

S D Silberstein, Susan Hutchinson


Women presenting with recurrent disabling headache frequently have migraine; but physicians need to rule out other headache disorders before they reach a diagnosis of migraine with or without aura. Many women who experience migraine in close association to their menstrual cycle may meet the diagnostic criteria for either menstrually related migraine (MRM), or pure menstrual migraine (PMM). Once an accurate diagnosis is made, treatment may be established to best suit the individual needs of that patient. Most women will find that migraine associated with hormone fluctuations respond well to standard treatment approaches including pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments. Pharmacological approaches include acute, preventive, and short-term prophylaxis. Herein we review the difference between non-menstrual migraine, PMM, and MRM and identify effective treatment strategies for appropriate management of migraine associated with hormonal fluctuations.


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