What are the signs and symptoms of the premonitory phase of a migraine in children?

Updated: Aug 15, 2019
  • Author: William C Robertson, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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Migraine with aura (previously known as classic migraine) and migraine without aura (previously known as common migraine) each have a premonitory phase, or prodrome, which may precede the headache phase by up to 24 hours. During this phase, the following features may occur:

  • Irritability

  • Elation or sadness

  • Talkativeness or social withdrawal

  • Increased or decreased appetite

  • Food craving or anorexia

  • Water retention

  • Sleep disturbances

These premonitions are often more pronounced in migraine without aura than in migraine with aura. Children with frequent migraine headaches or migraine variants often have a vague feeling that something is different in their world. They often learn to recognize these premonitions but find them difficult to explain to their parents or physicians.

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