In a European Journal of Neurology study of 2,197 patients who experience migraines, alcoholic beverages were reported as a trigger by 35.6% of participants.
Additionally, more than 25% of migraine patients who had stopped consuming or never consumed alcoholic beverages did so because of presumed trigger effects.
Wine, especially red wine (77.8% of participants), was recognized as the most common trigger among the alcoholic beverages.
However, red wine consistently led to an attack in only 8.8% of participants.
Time of onset was rapid (less than three hours) in one third of patients, and almost 90% of patients had an onset in under 10 hours independent of the type of alcoholic beverage consumed.
The authors noted that it can be debated if alcohol is a factual or a presumed trigger. Additional studies are needed to unravel this relationship.
“Alcohol-triggered migraine occurs rapid after intake of alcoholic beverages, suggesting a different mechanism than a normal hangover,” said senior author Dr. Gisela Terwindt, of the Leiden University Medical Center, in the Netherlands.