Migraine Postdrome (AKA Migraine “hangover”)

Migraine Postdrome (AKA Migraine “hangover”)

The typical stages of a migraine include a prodrome, aura, migraine, and postdrome. A migraine postdrome is the last stage of a migraine where the individual experiences symptoms that are similar to a hangover from drinking alcohol.

To date, this is one of the least studied aspects of migraine. In a 2016 study, it was found that the severity of a migraine episode did not correlate with the length of the postdrome phase.

Symptoms that may be experienced during this time include digestive issues, mood changes, sore or achy muscles, fatigue, neck pain or stiffness, mild headache, changes in appetite, and difficulty concentrating, and thirstiness. The symptoms may last from hours to days, but many individuals’ postdrome resolve within 24 hours.

Although there is no standard recommended treatment for this phase of migraine it is advisable to maintain a healthy lifestyle during this phase including getting plenty of rest, eating healthy foods, and doing gentle exercise including walking as tolerated.

One important aspect of being aware of the program phase is tracking. Your provider may ask you to track your headache days. These associated days should be included in your headache diary. This helps your provider assess the “burden of migraine” so they can better understand how to treat your migraines.

For more information on migraine prodrome talk to your provider.

By: Brooke Steiger, NP