‘Triptans’, Hormones, and Menstrual Migraine.

June 21, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

The ‘triptans’ are effective in relieving menstrual migraine

The ‘triptans’ are effective in relieving menstrual migraine

The ‘triptans’ are effective in relieving menstrual migraine – how (?) – isn’t menstrual migraine caused by hormones – specifically a drop in oestrogen? Research showing that hormonal patterns and fluctuations are no different in women suffering menstrual migraine from those who don’t, suggests that this is not the case, and has prompted some authorities to suggest that there is an underlying disorder in the central nervous system. Managing menstrual migraine by artificially controlling normal hormonal fluctuations, therefore, whilst helping to ease symptoms in some women, is not addressing the underlying problem.

Could it be that the underlying problem is a sensitised brainstem (?) – after all the ‘triptans’ desensitise the brainstem.



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Loder E. Menstrual migraine. Curr Treat Options Neurol 2001 Mar;3(2):189-200

Mannix LK, Files JA. The use of triptans in the management of menstrual migraine. CNS Drugs 2005;19(11): 951-72

Martin VT, Behbehani M. Ovarian hormones and migraine headache: understanding mechanisms and patohogenesis – part 2. Headache 2006;46:365-386

Varlibas A, Erdemoglu Ak. Altered trigeminal system excitability in menstrual migraine patients. The Journal of Headache and Pain 2009; 10(4):277-282)

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About dean
Consultant Headache & Migraine Physiotherapist; International Teacher; Director, The Headache Clinic & Watson Headache Institute; PhD Candidate Murdoch University, Western Australia; Adjunct Lecturer, Masters Program, Physiotherapy School, University of South Australia; MAppSc(Res) GradDipAdvManipTher Experienced health practitioners trained in the Watson Headache Approach perform the examination and treatment techniques developed by Dean Watson. These techniques are based on his extensive experience of 7000 headache patients (21,000 hours) over 21 years and are now taught internationally. For your nearest practitioner who has completed training in the ‘Watson Headache Approach’ please refer to the ‘Practitioner Directory’.

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