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Thread: Migraine Sufferers May Not Be Receiving Most Effective Treatment

  1. #1
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Migraine Sufferers May Not Be Receiving Most Effective Treatment

    Migraine Sufferers May Not Be Receiving Most Effective Treatment
    Library: MED
    Keywords: HEADACHE MIGRAINE TREATMENT EFFICACY NEUROLOGY WAKE FOREST
    Description: The majority of people who suffer from migraine headaches, characterized as painful, disabling and recurring headaches, may not be receiving the most effective treatments, according to a study published this month. (Headache, Apr-2003)



    Embargoed For Release April 10, 2003

    Migraine Sufferers May Not Be Receiving Most Effective Treatment

    WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- The majority of people who suffer from migraine headaches, characterized as painful, disabling and recurring headaches, may not be receiving the most effective treatments, according to a study published this month in Headache.

    The study "Health Care Utilization in Patients with Migraine", conducted by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, reviewed National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) data from 1990 to 1998 to assess the demographics of patients seen with a diagnosis of migraine, the types of physicians they saw, and the medications used to treat migraine. NAMCS is an ongoing survey of office-based physicians conducted by the Division of Healthcare Statistics, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    "Our research shows that, while patient visits for migraine have increased, over 60 percent of those patients are seen by a primary care physician, compared to less than 20 percent seen by a neurologist," said Cormac O'Donovan, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at Wake Forest and senior author of the study. However, studies have shown that patients report more satisfaction and better treatment outcomes when they were treated by a specialist.

    Increased awareness of the diagnosis and the recent availability of newer and more effective drugs such as Sumatriptan and antiepileptic drugs may account for the increased visits, said Maria Sam, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at Wake Forest and senior researcher on this study. In the primary care setting, migraines have often been treated with analgesics and drugs that may be habit forming.

    "Education of both physicians and the public about new and effective treatments will increase the number of those finding relief of their migraines and decrease the number of those using potentially habit-forming medications," said O'Donovan. Similar studies showed that patients who took drugs like Sumatriptan, which were a minority of patients in this study, missed fewer days of work, had fewer health care visits, lower health care costs and fewer days in which their normal activities were altered by a headache.

    Migraines affect an estimated 30 million people in the U.S. The prevalence is 6 percent in men and 15-18 percent in women. Most migraine sufferers are in the 30- to 59-year age group, and as many as 50 percent are undiagnosed.

    "While the majority of patients with migraine are still being seen by primary care physicians, these patients may benefit from referral to a specialist, or by programs aimed at educating primary care providers in the use of new treatment options," said O'Donovan.

    ###

    Contact: Jonnie Rohrer, jrohrer@wfubmc.edu, (336) 716-6972, Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, or Barbara Hahn, bhahn@wfubmc.edu, 336-716-4587.

  2. #2
    Now *this* kind of pain I have help for! What this article says is what happened to me...years of Fioricet (barbiturate + acetaminophen +caffeine) from my family doctors. Years of 3 days in bed vomiting with each headache.

    I didn't know about triptans until I went to the Houston Headache Clinic and of course, I saw a neurologist. I had to be put in the hospital to break the vicious rebound cycle I was in from all the Fioricets.

    I still have migraines, but at least I have Imitrex on hand. To avoid migraines, I try to keep my blood sugar level and drink enough fluids-since the central pain has gotten so debilitating, I tend to not eat and drink enough when I'm alone. Even taking too much triptans can result in rebound headaches

  3. #3
    Junior Member snoskrz's Avatar
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    there are is hope on the horizon...a new med in final trial stages...check out information at www.pozen.com

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