What is abdominal migraine?

Updated: Oct 16, 2019
  • Author: Rima M Dafer, MD, MPH, FAHA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Abdominal migraine most typically occurs in children, though it has been reported in adults. [52] Patients usually complain of paroxysmal midabdominal pain lasting from 1 to 72 hours, associated with nausea and vomiting, flushing, or pallor. As in cyclic vomiting, attacks may be associated with other migraine prodromes, such as fatigue and drowsiness. Aura and headaches are frequently absent or minimal. Children with abdominal migraine may show subtle clumsiness, attention deficit, or development delay.

Patients may develop migraine late in life, and a family history of migraine is common. Gastroenterologic evaluation and workup typically yield unremarkable results. [46]

Abdominal migraine symptoms are usually relieved with sleep. Antiemetics may help in aborting an acute attack. For long-term prevention, low doses of TCAs and flunarizine, a calcium channel blocker, are effective. [53] Other migraine-preventing medications are occasionally of some benefit.

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