Sumatriptan, a drug frequently prescribed for migraines, may pose a significant threat to babies when taken during pregnancy.
Danish researchers studied the babies born to 34 women who took the drug and compared them with the babies born to 15,955 healthy controls and to 89 women with migraines who didn’t take the drug.
Women taking sumatriptan were six times more likely than the migraine controls to have a premature baby and three times more likely than the healthy controls to give birth early. Migraine sufferers were also three times more likely than controls to have a baby of low birthweight.
Whether due to the drug or the severity of the disease, this is bad news for migraine suffering mums. Premature and low birthweight babies are at greater risk of illness and death in the first six weeks of life, and are more prone to health problems later in life (Headache, 2000; 40: 20-4).