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This article is about the disorder. For other uses, see Migraine (disambiguation).


Person having a migraine headache

Classification and external resources
Specialty Neurology
ICD-10 G43
ICD-9-CM 346


8207 31876

eMedicin neuro/218 neuro/517 emerg/230

[edit on Wikidata]

Migraine is a primary headache disorder characterized by recurrent headaches that are moderate
to severe.[1] Typically, the headaches affect one half of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last
from two to 72 hours.[1] Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to
light, sound, or smell.[2] The pain is generally made worse by physical activity.[3] Up to one-third
of people have an aura: typically a short period of visual disturbance which signals that the
headache will soon occur.[3] Occasionally, an aura can occur with little or no headache following
Migraines are believed to be due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors.[5] About twothirds of cases run in families.[6] Changing hormone levels may also play a role, as migraines
affect slightly more boys than girls before puberty and two to three times more women than men.
The risk of migraines usually decreases during pregnancy.[7] The underlying mechanisms are
not fully known.[9] It is, however, believed to involve the nerves and blood vessels of the brain.[6]
Initial recommended treatment is with simple pain medication such as ibuprofen and paracetamol
(acetaminophen) for the headache, medication for the nausea, and the avoidance of triggers.[10]
Specific medications such as triptans or ergotamines may be used in those for whom simple pain
medications are not effective.[6] Caffeine may be added to the above.[11] A number of medications
are useful to prevent attacks including metoprolol, valproate, and topiramate.[12]
Globally, approximately 15% of people are affected by migraines.[13] It most often starts at
puberty and is worst during middle age.[1] In some women they become less common following
menopause.[9] An early description consistent with migraines is contained in the Ebers papyrus,
written around 1500 BCE in ancient Egypt.[14] The word "migraine" is from the Greek
(hemikrania), "pain on one side of the head",[15] from - (hemi-), "half", and (kranion),
1 Signs and symptoms

1.1 Prodrome phase

1.2 Aura phase

1.3 Pain phase

1.4 Postdrome

2 Cause

2.1 Genetics

2.2 Triggers

3 Pathophysiology

3.1 Aura

3.2 Pain

4 Diagnosis

4.1 Classification

4.2 Abdominal migraine

4.3 Differential diagnosis

5 Prevention

5.1 Medication

5.2 Alternative therapies

5.3 Devices and surgery

6 Management

6.1 Analgesics

6.2 Triptans

6.3 Ergotamines