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Migraine in women

children as young as 8 years.

If other therapies and lifestyle changes fail to reduce migraines, researchers have found that cyproheptadine is a useful medication for children under 6, with several other preventive medications available to older children. As many as one-third of all pediatric migraine patients require periodic courses of daily preventive medication.

Reproductive Years: Menstrual migraine -- Migraines increase substantially after menarche. Menstruation is one of the most common migraine triggers. Menstrual migraines are typically migraines without aura (bright flashing lights that may precede migraine) that occur predictably around the menses. They are caused, studies suggest, by the decline in estrogen levels before menstruation. Menstrual migraines may be prevented by taking medication only during the vulnerable period when migraines are expected to occur.

Medications used in the prevention of menstrual migraine include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ergots, alkaloids and triptans. Medications used in the prevention of other migraines also are effective in preventing menstrual migraine. In some patients, menstrual migraines also may be managed with hormonal manipulation using oral contraceptives. However, reviewers emphasized that oral contraceptives should not be prescribed in migraine patients who smoke because of the dramatic increased risk of stroke.

Pregnancy -- Pregnant women with migraines often have fewer attacks by the end of the first trimester. According to the studies, 50 percent to 80 percent of women noted a decrease in attacks, while a smaller percentage experienced a worsening or onset of attacks. The reviewers noted that pregnant women should avoid using medication except in severe cases.

If it is determined that the benefits of the preventive therapy outweigh the risks to both mother and fetus, medications such as propranolol hydrochloride, verapamil hydrochloride and topir
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