Triptans in the Italian population: a drug utilization and literature review. J Headache Pain 9:71-76

The Journal of Headache and Pain (Impact Factor: 2.8). 05/2008; 9(2):71-6. DOI: 10.1007/s10194-008-0020-3
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Concurrent use of non-triptan medications was fairly common in sustained triptan users to abort acute migraine attacks [16]. Prescription data reveal a very low percentage (0.4–1.4% of the general population) of triptan use in several countries; this circumstance was common and universal among migraine patients [29-31]. "
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · The Journal of Headache and Pain
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    • "Panconesi et al. [28], in a review of the Italian population, confirmed that a very low percentage (about 10%) of migraine patients used triptans, and showed that a large percentage of patients (40–60%) who do use them only take them once a year. One possible explanation for this finding may be the low diagnosis rate of migraine [29]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In 2003, we conducted a sensitisation campaign on migraine in the Casilino district of Rome, by sending a letter with the ID Migraine test to all the households and placing posters in the GPs' waiting room. Out of 195 headache patients recruited, 92% had migraine while 73% had never consulted a physician for headache. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term impact of this campaign. The follow-up was performed by a telephone interview. The questionnaire considered the characteristics of headache, quality of life, preventive and acute treatments, drug efficacy, comorbidity and subjective usefulness of the campaign. Of the 179 migraineurs, 90.5% (mean age 40.7 +/- 16.5, 139 females) were included in the follow-up. An improvement was observed in mean pain intensity (-13.9%; p < 0.0001) and mean HIT-6 score (-6.1%; p = 0.0003). The campaign was considered to be useful by 63.6% of cases, while 66.1% reported an improvement in their clinical status. Improved patients showed a decreased mean number of days with headache per month (-51.7%; p < 0.0001), pain intensity (-21.8%; p < 0.0001), headache duration (-18.1%; p = 0.0008)and HIT-6 score (-11.7%; p < 0.0001). Our data suggest that the effects of a "single shot" campaign are beneficial not only in a short-term perspective, but even in the longterm. Moreover, the lack of benefit in more severe cases suggests that such patients should not be treated by GPs alone: patients in whom the HIT-6 score, frequency,severity or duration of headache worsen should be promptly referred to the headache clinic.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · The Journal of Headache and Pain
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    • "Triptans are widely recommended for M since studies have shown that their use increases productivity at work and improves the quality of life of M sufferers [26]. However, studies worldwide show that the majority of M patients are using OTCs and the minority is using triptans [2–6, 17, 27, 28]. This is largely influenced by the physician who is treating the patient. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the treatment patterns of migraine and tension-type headache in the Croatian population. Analysis included the proportion of patients who were taking specific antimigraine therapy and the number of tablets per attack per month, the proportion of patients who were taking prophylactic therapy or using alternative treatment methods and their satisfaction with the treatment. The design of the study was a cross-sectional survey. Self-completed questionnaires were randomly distributed to adults >18 years of age in the Croatian population. A total of 616 questionnaires were analyzed: 115 patients with migraine (M), 327 patients with tension-type headache (TTH), and 174 patients with probable migraine (PM) and TTH. Specific antimigraine therapy was taken by half of patients with migraine: 35.7% of patients used triptans and 21.7% ergotamines. Prophylactic treatment had been used by 13.9% of M, 1.2% of TTH, and 6.9% of PM patients. Alternative methods of treatment were tried by 27% of M and TTH patients. Only 16.8% of patients with M pay regular visits to physicians, while 36.3% never visited a physician. More than half of TTH patients have never visited a physician. The majority of patients are only partially satisfied with their current treatment, and almost one-third are not satisfied. Results of this study indicate that the treatment of primary headaches in Croatia should be improved.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · The Journal of Headache and Pain
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