Migraine Treatment Patterns
Among prescription drug users, 61% reported delaying or skipping treatment for at least one of their three migraine attacks, and 10% of subjects delayed or skipped treatment for all three attacks. However, researchers found that migraines treated within one hour of onset were significantly shorter on average than those treated after one hour (9.1 hours vs 12.3 hours).
Of all 1,527 migraine episodes in the study, 7% were not treated and 4% were treated with several medications at once. Headaches initially treated with triptans lasted significantly less than those treated with an OTC medication first (7.8 hours vs 11.4 hours). In addition, those treated with triptans were less likely to require additional rescue medication.
The main reasons given for delaying or skipping treatments included not having medication on hand, medication cost, fear of developing a tolerance to the medication, concern about side effects, and not liking to take medication.
“Better awareness and recognition of the disabling nature of migraine and treating migraine pain within one hour of its onset with a triptan could improve migraine patient outcomes,” Dr. Landy concluded.
—Rebecca K. Abma