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Keywords:

  • Migraine without aura;
  • menstrual cycle;
  • menstrually related migraine;
  • acute attack treatment

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Aim of this study was to determine whether menstrual attacks differ from nonmenstrual attacks (NMA) as regards clinical features or response to abortive treatment in women affected by menstrually related migraine (MRM) referred to tertiary care centres. Sixty-four women with MRM were enrolled in a 2-month diary study. Perimenstrual attacks were split into three groups – premenstrual (PMA), menstrual (MA) and late menstrual (LMA) – and compared to nonmenstrual ones. Perimenstrual attacks were significantly longer than NMA. No other migraine attack features were found to differ between the various phases of the cycle. Migraine work-related disability was significantly greater in PMA and MA than in NMA. Acute attack treatment was less effective in perimenstrual attacks. Pain-free at 2 h after dosage was achieved in 13.5% of MA (OR 0.41; 95% CI 0.22, 0.76) vs. 32.9% of NMA. We concluded that, in MRM, perimenstrual attacks are longer and less responsive to acute attack treatment than NMA.