Triptan safety during pregnancy: a Norwegian population registry study

Eur J Epidemiol. 2013 Sep;28(9):759-69. doi: 10.1007/s10654-013-9831-x. Epub 2013 Jul 25.


Knowledge on triptan safety during pregnancy remains limited to their class effect or studies on sumatriptan. Our aim was to evaluate the individual effect of four most frequently used triptans on several pregnancy outcomes. We used the Norwegian prescription database to access information on triptans redeemed by pregnant women living in Norway between 2004 and 2007. This database was linked to the Medical Birth Registry of Norway covering every institutional delivery in Norway and providing information on pregnancy, delivery, maternal and neonatal health. Estimates of associations with pregnancy outcomes were obtained by Generalised Estimation Equations analysis. Of the 181,125 women in our study, 1,465 (0.8%) redeemed triptans during pregnancy, and 1,095 (0.6%) redeemed triptans before pregnancy only (disease comparison group). The population comparison group comprised the remaining 178,565 women. Using this group as reference, we found no associations between triptan redemption during pregnancy and congenital malformations. Second trimester redemption was associated with postpartum haemorrhage (adjusted OR 1.57; 95% CI 1.19-2.07). The disease comparison group had an increased risk of major congenital malformations (adjusted OR 1.48; 95% CI 1.11-1.97), low birth weight (adjusted OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.08-1.81), and preterm birth (adjusted OR 1.30; 95% CI 1.06-1.60). The association of triptans with postpartum hemorrhage could be attributable to decreased platelet agreeability occurring in severe migraine. Likewise, the increased risk of major congenital malformations and other adverse pregnancy outcomes in the disease comparison group might be attributable to migraine severity.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / epidemiology
  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / etiology
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / complications
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Trimesters
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tryptamines / administration & dosage
  • Tryptamines / adverse effects*


  • Tryptamines