Breastfeeding and migraine drugs

Riccardo Davanzo, Jenny Bua, Giulia Paloni, Giulia Facchina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Breastfeeding women may suffer from migraine. While we have many drugs for its treatment and prophylaxis, the majority are poorly studied in breastfeeding women. We conducted a review of the most common anti-migraine drugs (AMDs) and we determined their lactation risk.

Methods: For each AMD, we collected all retrievable data from Hale's Medications and Mother Milk (2012), from the LactMed database (2014) of the National Library of Medicine, and from a MedLine Search of relevant studies published in the last 10 years.

Results: According to our review, AMDs safe during breastfeeding are as follows: low-dose acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), ibuprofen, sumatriptan, metoprolol, propranolol, verapamil, amitriptyline, escitalopram, paroxetine, sertraline, acetaminophen, caffeine, and metoclopramide. AMDs compatible with breastfeeding but warranting caution are as follows: diclofenac, ketoprofen, naproxen, most new triptans, topiramate, valproate, venlafaxine, and cyproheptadine. Finally, high-dose ASA, atenolol, nadolol, cinnarizine, flunarizine, ergotamine, methysergide, and pizotifen are contraindicated.

Conclusions: According to our review, the majority of the revised AMDs were assessed to be compatible with breastfeeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1313-1324
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Breastfeeding
  • Human milk
  • Lactation risk
  • Migraine drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine(all)


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