Migraine postdromes: symptoms after attacks

Cephalalgia. 1991 Nov;11(5):229-31. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-2982.1991.1105229.x.


To determine the nature and duration of symptoms after the headache phase of migraine, 40 migraineurs (11 with and 29 without an aura) were given a questionnaire to complete on the day after a migraine attack. The most common symptoms that remained were physical and mental tiredness, subdued or depressed mood, impaired concentration, reduced physical activities and yawning; weak or clumsy limbs, head tenderness, neck ache or stiffness, impaired sight and altered fluid balance were less frequent. The number of symptoms ranged from 2 to 11 (average 6) per patient lasting for a mean of 18 h, usually the whole of the next day. Symptoms after the main migraine attack can help to diagnose migraine particularly when there is no aura before the onset of headache. Eliciting postdromes aids patient-doctor rapport and confidence. The range of symptoms lends support to the notion that the whole of the brain is involved in the aftermath of migraine attacks.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Migraine Disorders / physiopathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires