Migraine Patients More Likely to Take Triptan Medications When Their Pain is Mild and is Throbbing or Unilateral
MIGRAINE PATIENTS MORE LIKELY TO TAKE TRIPTAN MEDICATIONS
WHEN THEIR PAIN IS MILD AND IS THROBBNG OR UNILATERAL
WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 17, 2015 – Migraine patients experiencing mild pain, nausea, photophobia (extreme sensitivity to light) and throbbing pain on one side of their head are more likely to adhere to their triptan medication, according to a new study of patient behavior during an acute attack.
In a prospective study of 267 patients experiencing 4,291 acute migraine attacks, researchers at Mercy Clinic Headache Center/Mercy Health Research in St. Louis found that patients fail to take a triptan in more than four out of every ten attacks, despite the fact that their disability was lower on the days when they took a triptan1.
“Adherence to acute treatment recommendations is essential to optimizing migraine care,” said Timothy R. Smith, MD, Vice President of Research at Mercy Health Research and lead author of the study. “In this study, we looked at how often patients who had a triptan prescription took a triptan during their migraine attack across multiple attacks, and what factors predicted triptan use.”
“Despite the integral importance of medication adherence to successful pharmacotherapy, a paucity of research exists about medication adherence among those with migraine,” he said. “This study provides important information that can help providers know how to educate patients to actively manage their migraine attacks.”
The study was presented at the 57th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society here. The meeting draws about 1,000 headache and migraine researchers and treatment specialists from around the world to hear the latest scientific and clinical information on headache and migraine. This year’s program, “Drawing upon Headache Research,” is four days of teaching and scientific presentations.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN HEADACHE SOCIETY
The American Headache Society (AHS) is a professional society of health care providers dedicated to the study and treatment of headache and face pain. The Society’s objectives are to promote the exchange of information and ideas concerning the causes and treatments of headache and related painful disorders. Educating physicians, health professionals and the public and encouraging scientific research are the primary functions of this organization. AHS activities include an annual scientific meeting, a comprehensive headache symposium, regional symposia for neurologists and family practice physicians, and publication of the journal Headache. (www.americanheadachesociety.org
1 Triptans, serotonin 5_hydroxytryptamine (5_HT)(1B/1D) agonists, are a class of prescription
drugs used as abortive medications in migraine.