The migraine postdrome

Nicola J. Giffin, Richard B. Lipton, Stephen D. Silberstein, Jes Olesen, Peter J. Goadsby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Objective: To report migraine postdrome symptoms in patients who report nonheadache symptoms as part of their attacks. Methods: A prospective daily electronic diary study was conducted over 3 months in 120 patients with migraine. Nonheadache symptoms before, during, and after headache were collected on a daily basis. Visual analogue scales were used to capture the overall level of functioning and the severity of the headache. The postdrome was defined as the time from resolution of troublesome headache to return to normal. Results: Of 120 evaluable patients, 97 (81%) reported at least one nonheadache symptom in the postdrome. Postdrome symptoms, in order of frequency, included feeling tired/weary and having difficulty concentrating and stiff neck. Many patients also reported a mild residual head discomfort. In most attacks (93%), there was return to normal within 24 hours after spontaneous pain resolved. There was no relationship between medication taken for the headache and the duration of the postdrome. The severity of the migraine was not associated with the duration of the postdrome. Overall state of health scores remained low during the postdrome. Conclusion: Nonheadache symptoms in the postdrome were common and may contribute to the distress and disability in the patients studied. Postdrome symptoms merit larger observational studies and careful recording in clinical trials of acute and preventive migraine treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-313
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 19 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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