Migraine treatment strategies: the global Migraine And Zolmitriptan Evaluation (MAZE) survey – phase IV*
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OBJECTIVE: To determine which medications UK migraineurs have access to and assess the usage of these products in a 'real-life' setting. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Data were collected using an online questionnaire, which subjects were directed to by advertisements in pharmacies, a UK national newspaper, on the internet and information on the Migraine Action Association website and newsletters. Respondents were eligible for inclusion if attacks fulfilled International Headache Society criteria for migraine and/or if previously diagnosed by a physician as having migraine. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Respondents were asked to specify which products had been prescribed or purchased for migraine treatment. The pattern of use of these products was determined, including the reasons why respondents chose particular products to treat attacks. RESULTS: Of 3072 eligible respondents, the majority had purchased a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for treatment of attacks. Eighty-seven per cent had been diagnosed by a physician and were prescribed multiple products (average 1.68); 45% received triptans, but 26% were still prescribed products that were also available OTC. Over half (52%) of respondents initially used an OTC medicine to treat the last migraine attack. However, 73% required a second dose/product, mainly as a result of lack of efficacy of the first dose/product. Respondents using triptans were less likely to require a second dose/product than those not using triptans (52% vs. 78%, respectively). The two main reasons for choosing a triptan to treat an attack were the need for quick control and the severity of the attack. Satisfaction with regard to migraine medication was higher among triptan-users than nontriptan users. CONCLUSIONS: Medicines that are available OTC are often used as first-line therapy for migraine despite many migraineurs having access to prescription therapies such as triptans. Many migraineurs require a second dose/product, possibly indicating sub-optimal treatment efficacy. Physicians should consider the range of migraine-specific treatments available, including triptans, in order to develop a treatment plan that is based on the patient's needs and preferences.
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