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To examine demographic characteristics and clinical features of headache patients referred to neurologists specializing in headache in Canada.
Demographic and clinical data were collected at the time of consultation for 865 new headache patients referred to five headache-specialty clinics in Canada. The Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) and Migraine Disability Questionnaire (MIDAS) were used to measure headache impact and disability. Data were analyzed as part of the Canadian Headache Outpatient Registry and Database (CHORD) Project.
The average age of the patients was 40 years and the majority were female (78%). Most were employed either full time (49%) or part time (13%). The majority of patients were diagnosed with either migraine or tension-type headache (78%). Over a third of patients experienced headache every day, and half had experienced a headache in the previous month which was of severe intensity. Most (80%) scored in the “very severe” category of the HIT-6 and over half (55%) were severely disabled as measured by the MIDAS.
Patients referred to headache specialists in Canada are severely disabled by their headache disorders. These patients are in the most productive phase of their lives in terms of age and employment. It is important to provide the best available treatment to headache patients in order to minimize the disability and impact of their headache disorders.
Patients with chronic migraine and medication overuse are significant consumers of health care resources.
To determine whether botulinum toxin type A prophylaxis reduces the cost of acute migraine medications in patients with chronic migraine and triptan overuse.
In this multicenter, open-label study, patients with chronic migraine (≥15 headache days/month) who were triptan overusers (triptan intake ≥10 days/month for ≥3 months) received botulinum toxin type A (95-130 U) at baseline and month three. Headache (HA) frequency and medication use were assessed with patient diaries, and headache-related disability by means of the MIDAS and Headache Impact Test-6 questionnaires.
Of 53 patients enrolled (mean age ± standard deviation, 46.5 years ± 8.4; 47 [88.7%] females), 48 (90.6%) completed the study at month six. Based on headache diaries, significant (P≤0.0002) decreases from baseline were observed for days per month with headache/migraine, days with any acute headache medication use, days with triptan use, and triptan doses taken per month. A significant (P<0.0001) increase from baseline in headache-free days per month was also observed. Prescription medication costs for acute headache medications decreased significantly, including significant reductions in triptan costs (mean reduction of -C$106.32 ± 122.87/month during botulinum toxin type A prophylaxis; P<0.0001). At baseline, 78% of patients had severe disability (MIDAS score) and 86.8% had severe impact due to headache (HIT-6 scores); at month six, this decreased to 60% and 68%, respectively.
Botulinum toxin type A prophylactic therapy markedly decreased costs related to acute headache medication use in patients with chronic migraine and triptan overuse.
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