Disputation: Gerd Marie Eskerud Harris

Doctoral candidate Gerd Marie Eskerud Harris at the Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, is  defending the thesis "Migraine pharmacotherapy during pregnancy: Utilization patterns and associations with child neurodevelopment" for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.

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Trial lecture - time and place

10.06.2022, 10.15. Auditorium 2, Helga Eng

Causal inference based on observational data: when can we trust our results?

Conferral summary

Avhandlingen undersøkte bruk av migrenemedisiner under graviditet, og hvorvidt dette kan føre til økt risiko for nevroutviklingsforstyrrelser hos barnet. Avhandlingen fant at mange gravide sluttet med medisiner eller endret behandling under graviditeten. Det var ingen sammenheng mellom bruk av medisingruppen triptaner i svangerskapet og atferdsproblemer, ADHD, kommunikasjon eller temperament hos barna, noe som er betryggende for gravide med behov for migrenemedisiner.

Main research findings

How is migraine treated during pregnancy, and can treatment affect the child’s neurodevelopment? Migraine is a headache disorder most commonly affecting women of childbearing age. Knowledge about patterns of use and safety of migraine medications during pregnancy is limited. Most previous research has focused on risks of birth defects, but to establish safety during pregnancy, possible long-term consequences, including children’s social, emotional, and behavioral health, need to be investigated. This thesis focused on triptans, the most effective acute medications for migraine treatment. The thesis identified different patterns of use of triptans during pregnancy, and found that many women discontinued triptans and/or switched to other medications considered safer during pregnancy, such as paracetamol. These women should be followed up more closely to ensure optimal migraine management. The thesis also studied the accuracy of information on triptan use in different data sources, and provided advice for future research. Lastly, the thesis found no evidence of increased risks of behavior problems, ADHD, communication problems, or changes in temperament associated with triptan use during pregnancy. This is reassuring to pregnant women who need migraine treatment and their health care providers.

Read more (in Norwegian):

Liten risiko ved bruk av migrenemedisin under svangerskapet (Titan, 8. juni 2022)


Published May 25, 2022 10:00 AM - Last modified June 8, 2022 12:37 PM