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Self-medication of regular headache: a community pharmacy-based survey

(2012) EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY. 19(8). p.1093-1099
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Abstract
Background: This observational community pharmacy-based study aimed to investigate headache characteristics and medication use of persons with regular headache presenting for self-medication. Methods: Participants (n = 1205) completed (i) a questionnaire to assess current headache medication and previous physician diagnosis, (ii) the ID Migraine Screener (ID-M), and (iii) the Migraine Disability Assessment questionnaire. Results: Forty-four percentage of the study population (n = 528) did not have a physician diagnosis of their headache, and 225 of them (225/528, 42.6%) were found to be ID-M positive. The most commonly used acute headache drugs were paracetamol (used by 62% of the study population), NSAIDs (39%), and combination analgesics (36%). Only 12% of patients physician-diagnosed with migraine used prophylactic migraine medication, and 25% used triptans. About 24% of our sample (n = 292) chronically overused acute medication, which was combination analgesic overuse (n = 166), simple analgesic overuse (n = 130), triptan overuse (n = 19), ergot overuse (n = 6), and opioid overuse (n = 5). Only 14.5% was ever advised to limit intake frequency of acute headache treatments. Conclusions: This study identified underdiagnosis of migraine, low use of migraine prophylaxis and triptans, and high prevalence of medication overuse amongst subjects seeking self-medication for regular headache. Community pharmacists have a strategic position in education and referral of these self-medicating headache patients.
Keywords
CLASSIFICATION, self-medication, PREVALENCE, community, pharmacy, medication, overuse, headache

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Mehuys, Els, Koen Paemeleire, T Van Hees, Thierry Christiaens, Lucas Van Bortel, Inge Van Tongelen, Leen De Bolle, Jean Paul Remon, and Koen Boussery. 2012. “Self-medication of Regular Headache: a Community Pharmacy-based Survey.” European Journal of Neurology 19 (8): 1093–1099.
APA
Mehuys, Els, Paemeleire, K., Van Hees, T., Christiaens, T., Van Bortel, L., Van Tongelen, I., De Bolle, L., et al. (2012). Self-medication of regular headache: a community pharmacy-based survey. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY, 19(8), 1093–1099.
Vancouver
1.
Mehuys E, Paemeleire K, Van Hees T, Christiaens T, Van Bortel L, Van Tongelen I, et al. Self-medication of regular headache: a community pharmacy-based survey. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY. 2012;19(8):1093–9.
MLA
Mehuys, Els, Koen Paemeleire, T Van Hees, et al. “Self-medication of Regular Headache: a Community Pharmacy-based Survey.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY 19.8 (2012): 1093–1099. Print.
@article{3006205,
  abstract     = {Background: This observational community pharmacy-based study aimed to investigate headache characteristics and medication use of persons with regular headache presenting for self-medication.
Methods: Participants (n = 1205) completed (i) a questionnaire to assess current headache medication and previous physician diagnosis, (ii) the ID Migraine Screener (ID-M), and (iii) the Migraine Disability Assessment questionnaire.
Results: Forty-four percentage of the study population (n = 528) did not have a physician diagnosis of their headache, and 225 of them (225/528, 42.6\%) were found to be ID-M positive. The most commonly used acute headache drugs were paracetamol (used by 62\% of the study population), NSAIDs (39\%), and combination analgesics (36\%). Only 12\% of patients physician-diagnosed with migraine used prophylactic migraine medication, and 25\% used triptans. About 24\% of our sample (n = 292) chronically overused acute medication, which was combination analgesic overuse (n = 166), simple analgesic overuse (n = 130), triptan overuse (n = 19), ergot overuse (n = 6), and opioid overuse (n = 5). Only 14.5\% was ever advised to limit intake frequency of acute headache treatments.
Conclusions: This study identified underdiagnosis of migraine, low use of migraine prophylaxis and triptans, and high prevalence of medication overuse amongst subjects seeking self-medication for regular headache. Community pharmacists have a strategic position in education and referral of these self-medicating headache patients.},
  author       = {Mehuys, Els and Paemeleire, Koen and Van Hees, T and Christiaens, Thierry and Van Bortel, Lucas and Van Tongelen, Inge and De Bolle, Leen and Remon, Jean Paul and Boussery, Koen},
  issn         = {1351-5101},
  journal      = {EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY},
  keyword      = {CLASSIFICATION,self-medication,PREVALENCE,community,pharmacy,medication,overuse,headache},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {1093--1099},
  title        = {Self-medication of regular headache: a community pharmacy-based survey},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-1331.2012.03681.x},
  volume       = {19},
  year         = {2012},
}

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