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(Date of issue: October 2015, Version: 1)

This is a UKTIS monograph for use by health care professionals. For case-specific advice please contact UKTIS on 0344 892 0909. To report an exposure please download and complete a pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

A corresponding patient information leaflet on sumatriptan use in pregnancy is available at


‘Triptans’ (almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, and zolmitriptan) are 5HT1-receptor agonists used in the treatment of acute migraine and cluster headache. They are not used for migraine prophylaxis. 

Meta-analysis of the available data suggests that there is currently no evidence of an increased risk for major malformation following in utero exposure to triptans. However, as the majority of data relate to use of sumatriptan, evidence for other less frequently used triptans is lacking and until further data become available the possibility of an increased risk cannot be excluded.

An increased risk of spontaneous abortion has been observed for triptan use when compared to healthy controls without migraine, but not when compared to disease-matched controls with no triptan use. No increased risk for low birth weight or intrauterine death has been observed. The majority of data does not support an increased risk of preterm delivery. No studies have assessed neurodevelopmental outcome in triptan-exposed children.

Where triptan use in pregnancy is clinically indicated, use of sumatriptan in preference to the other triptans, for which there are a lack of data, is advised. Where treatment with another triptan has been established preconceptually, an individual risk benefit analysis of continuing therapy for that patient needs to be undertaken and the available human pregnancy data considered and discussed with the patient.

Exposure to triptans at any stage in pregnancy would not usually be regarded as medical grounds for termination of pregnancy or additional fetal monitoring. However, other risk factors may be present in individual cases which may independently increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Clinicians are reminded of the importance of consideration of such factors when performing case-specific risk assessments.

This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use full UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from to be sure you are using the most up-to-date version. The summaries of these monographs are openly available on

This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to health care professionals at

If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.

If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this monograph was accurate and up-to-date at the time of writing, however it cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes of the measures recommended. The final decision regarding which treatment is used for an individual patient remains the clinical responsibility of the prescriber. This material may be freely reproduced for education and not for profit purposes within the UK National Health Service, however no linking to this website or reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of this service. This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from or to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.