UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Clinical and Population Health Research

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Document Type



Chemicals and Drugs | Clinical Epidemiology | Disorders of Environmental Origin | Environmental Public Health | Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications | Health Services Research | Maternal and Child Health | Medical Toxicology | Psychiatry and Psychology


OBJECTIVE: This study sought to determine whether changes in neurodevelopmental outcomes between 18 and 36 months of age were associated with prenatal exposure to triptan medications, a class of 5-HT receptor agonists used in the treatment of migraine.

METHOD: Using data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, a prospective birth cohort that includes nearly 40% of all pregnancies in Norway from 1999 to 2008, we identified 50 469 mother-child dyads who met inclusion criteria and were present for at least one follow-up assessment at 18 or 36 months postpartum. Neurodevelopment was assessed using the Child Behaviour Checklist, the Emotionality, Activity, and Shyness Questionnaire, and the Ages and Stages Questionnaire. We used generalised estimating equations to evaluate change from 18 to 36 months for children prenatally exposed to triptans, relative to contrast groups, and used marginal structural models with inverse probability of treatment and censoring weights to address time-varying exposure and confounding as well as loss to follow-up.

RESULTS: Among eligible participants (n=50 469), 1.0% used a triptan during pregnancy, 2.0% used triptans prior to pregnancy only, 8.0% reported migraine without triptan use and 89.0% had no history of migraine. Children with prenatal triptan exposure had greater increases in emotionality (r-RR 2.18, 95% CI 1.03 to 4.53) and activity problems (r-RR 1.70, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.8) compared to children born to mothers who discontinued triptan use prior to pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: Prenatal triptan exposure was associated with changes over time in externalising-type behaviours such as emotionality and activity, but not with internalising-type behaviours.


Epidemiology, Mental health, medication use in pregnancy

DOI of Published Version



BMJ Open. 2016 Sep 13;6(9):e011971. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011971. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMJ open


Mollie E. Wood is a doctoral student in the Clinical and Population Health Research Program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UMass Medical School.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License