Acute care of chronic and episodic migraines is suboptimal.

Acute treatment of episodic and chronic migraine headaches in the US leaves a lot to be desired. Results of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study lead by Dr. Richard Lipton indicates that the acute treatment of migraine headaches in patients with chronic migraines is significantly worse than in patients with episodic migraines. Chronic migraines are defined as those occurring on 15 or more days each month, while patients who have 14 or fewer migraines a month are classified as having episodic migraines.

The researchers developed a specific questionnaire to assess acute treatment of migraine headaches. The questionnaire evaluated the effect of treatment on people’s functioning, how rapid was the relief, relief consistency, recurrence risk, and tolerability or side effects. They examined responses from 8612 persons who met criteria for migraine (chronic migraine = 539; episodic migraine = 8073). The treatment scores were significantly lower for persons with chronic migraine vs episodic migraine. The conclusion was that the questionnaire was a robust tool for measuring treatment optimization and that acute treatment was suboptimal for both episodic and chronic migraines, particularly for chronic migraines, suggesting that there are opportunities for improving care.

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