Article

Triptans in the Italian population: a drug utilization study and a literature review

The Journal of Headache and Pain (Impact Factor: 3.28). 05/2008; 9(2):71-6. DOI: 10.1007/s10194-008-0020-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous studies performed in selected populations show a poor utilization of triptans for migraine. The objectives of our study were to establish patterns of triptans utilization in a large sample, covering 1/10 of Italian population (5.57 millions), and to perform a review of published studies on this topic. We investigated drug prescription database collected during 2006 from 33 health authorities distributed in 8 different regions. About 0.6% of the subjects received at least one prescription of triptans in 1 year: 77.7% were females and 22.3% males. Age distribution shows that 9.5% of patients were aged above 65, and received prescriptions for 8.2% of packages. The review of the literature suggests that these percentages of utilization are common to several countries, and shows that occasional triptan users who received only one prescription in 1 year are a large percentage (40-60%); moreover, a minor population of triptan users utilize a large amount of total triptans. Finally triptans are frequently prescribed in people aged above 65 years, a population in which triptans are contraindicated or not recommended. Our study and the analyzed ones indicate suboptimal treatment of migraine patients with triptans and also an incorrect use in some patients (triptan abusers, elderly).

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    ABSTRACT: Background: The persistence of triptan use among newly prescribed users is low in the United States and European countries. However, triptan refill patterns in Asian primary care practices have not been well described. Methods: Data from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan were used to conduct a retrospective cohort analysis from 2005 to 2008. All participants were followed for 2 years after receiving a new triptan prescription. Refill and 2-year retention rates of newly prescribed triptans were calculated, and predictors of the first triptan refill and 2-year retention were analyzed. Results: Of the 13,951 participants with a new triptan prescription (99.9% sumatriptan), 67.4% were prescribed by a neurologist, 67.4% were prescribed at least one prophylactic agent for migraine. Of them, 34.3% adhered to the newly prescribed triptan at the first refill, 0.01% switched to another triptan, and 40.9% switched to a non-triptan acute migraine medication. The 2-year retention rate was 4.0%. The frequency of headache-related neurologic visits for 1 year before the index date, first prescription of triptan or other acute medications, first triptan prescription by a neurologist, and prophylactic use were associated with higher first refill rates. The frequency of headache-related neurologic visits 1 year before the index date and first triptan prescription by a neurologist were related to higher 2-year retention rates. Diabetes mellitus and first triptan prescription at a local medical clinic were associated with reduced probability of continued triptan use at the first refill and 2 years. Conclusions: Similar to Western societies, the refill and 2-year retention rates were low in new users of triptans. Frequency of neurologic visits and triptan prescription by a neurologist were significant predictors of adherence.
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    ABSTRACT: PurposeTo enable easier access to triptans, the drug of choice for moderate to severe migraine, some countries have made triptans available without prescription, that is, over the counter (OTC). Concern has been raised about this. The aim of this study was to describe the utilization pattern of triptans in Sweden before and after the OTC switch.Methods Wholesaler and aggregated sales data from all Swedish pharmacies 1991 to 2011 and patient identity data on dispensed prescriptions 2007 and 2011 from the Swedish National Prescribed Drug Register were used to investigate volume and expenditure of triptans. The databases contain complete data for all drugs sold in Sweden or dispensed to all Swedish inhabitants (9.5 million in 2012).ResultsVolumes of triptans have increased to 7.0 million defined daily doses (DDD) on prescriptions and 0.7 million DDDs OTC in 2011. Prescriptions were dispensed to 10.0 and 10.1 per 1000 inhabitants in 2007 and 2011, respectively. Although half of those dispensed triptans in 2007 were not in 2011, the incidence remained stable at 2.8 patients per thousand person-years. In 2011, the 10% of the heaviest users accounted for 44% and 48% of dispensed triptans in women and men, respectively.Conclusions Triptans OTC and the volumes dispensed on prescription have increased as has the DDD per patient purchasing triptans on prescription. However, the number of patient's dispensed triptans on prescription has remained stable. A concern is that almost half of prescribed triptans are purchased by 10% of the users. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 12/2014; 23(12). DOI:10.1002/pds.3681 · 3.17 Impact Factor

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