What are migraine headache precipitants?

Updated: Oct 21, 2019
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Various precipitants of migraine events have been identified, as follows:

  • Hormonal changes, such as those accompanying menstruation (common), [44] pregnancy, and ovulation

  • Stress

  • Excessive or insufficient sleep

  • Medications (eg, vasodilators, oral contraceptives [45] )

  • Smoking

  • Exposure to bright or fluorescent lighting

  • Strong odors (eg, perfumes, colognes, petroleum distillates)

  • Head trauma

  • Weather changes

  • Motion sickness

  • Cold stimulus (eg, ice cream headaches)

  • Lack of exercise

  • Fasting or skipping meals

  • Red wine

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