Treatment for Menstrual Migraine

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Menstrual migraine is caused by several factors such as the following: decrease in the levels of estrogen and progesterone during a woman’s menstrual cycle (which reach their lowest levels on the first day of the menstrual flow), and magnesium deficiency. There are several types of treatment for menstrual migraine; and this article highlights the different OTC, prescription drugs, and natural remedies that can help alleviate discomfort caused by menstrual migraine.

OTC Drugs


This class of NSAID or NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medication was approved by the FDA in 1974. This is the generic name of several brands such as Advil, Relafen, and Motrin. Ibruprofen effectively blocks the enzyme that produces prostaglandin, a type of chemical in the body that causes inflammation, pain, and fever.

The most common side effects of this drug are dizziness, drowsiness, rash, ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Ibuprofen can also lessens blood flow to the kidneys, causing their impairment. However, this only occurs to those who have kidney or heart ailments. Ulceration can also occur, and sometimes without the presence of abdominal pain, black or tarry stools, and weakness.

Ibrupofen should not be taken if one is suffering from certain medical conditions such as severe kidney disease, a history or present allergy to aspirin or other NSAID’s, or a recent bypass heart surgery, because this type of drug can worsen instead of alleviate one’s condition. Also, alcohol and tobacco use must be limited because stomach bleeding can occur when taken with Ibruprofen. For women in their last three months of pregnancy, doctors do not recommend this drug, as it can cause potential harm to the baby, as well as affect an interference in the normal delivery of the baby. Although there were no sepcific reports about Ibuprofen’s negative effects to lactating mothers, it is best to consult a physician before taking the drug.

Prescription Drugs


These drugs are used to alleviate pain caused by an emerging migraine. They constrict the widened blood vessels in the brain. Ergotamines come in different forms such as tablets, sprays, and injections.

It is rare for people to experience side effects with this medication. However, the most common reported side effects of ergotamines are nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.

Before taking these drugs, a physician must be consulted and informed of the patient’s medical condition such as blood circulation disease, liver disease, kidney disease, severe itching, and heart/ blood vessel disease. Pregnant and lactating women are not recommended to take ergotamine since it can harm the unborn baby.


Triptans are drugs that narrow the blood vessels in the brain, thus preventing swelling. They work best when taken at the initial signs of migraine. Some triptans come in the form of tablets, while others are available in nasal sprays (Imitrex and Zomig).

These drugs do not usually cause any side effects; but the possible ones are drowsiness, tingling, weakness, bitterness in taste, and flushing.

People who have heart disease, liver disease, and uncontrolled blood pressure should consult their physician before taking this medication.

Home Remedies

Eat foods rich in magnesium.

In 1981, the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition published a study made by medical specialists, Dr. Abraham and Dr. Lubran ,on the relationship between premenstrual tension (such as menstrual migraines) and magnesium levels in the body.They have discovered that magnesium deficiency can cause menstrual migraines. Consuming the right amount of magnesium-rich foods such as peanuts, broccoli, spinach, halibut, and squash seeds can help reduce or even prevent menstrual migraine.

Apply cold compress on the head.

Cold compress works well in constricting the widened blood vessels in the brain that produce pain. At the onset of a migraine attack, an ice pack may be placed on the forehead to soothe the pain caused by the swelling of the blood vessels.

Drinking natural herbs that are proven to alleviate migraines.

There are several herbs that can lessen the discomfort caused by headache during the menstrual cycle. Some of these herbs that are safe and effective are ginger, periwinkle, and chamomile.


Hormonal and Menstrual Migraines/Headaches: Causes and Treatment, From

Menstrual Migraine, From

Serum and Red Cell Magnesium Levels in Patients with Premenstrual Tension, From