Real-world insights on the management of migraine patients: an Italian nationwide study

Elio Agostoni, Piero Barbanti, Fabio Frediani, Gianluca Trifirò, Luigi Burgio, Lisa di Nola, Valeria Pegoraro, Stefania Pulimeno, Mario Cepparulo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Understanding migraine management using data from a sample of patients representative of the Italian general adult population.Methods: Retrospective analysis on IQVIA Italian Longitudinal Patient Database. Two cohorts were created. (a) The triptan user cohort included patients with triptan prescriptions between November 2015 and October 2016. Migraine days were estimated counting triptan and indometacin/caffeine/prochlorperazine (ICP) pills prescribed during the 6 months following first triptan prescription. Patients were categorized as having episodic (EM) or chronic (CM) migraine based on the number of migraine days following International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria. (b) The migraine preventive treatment (MPT) user cohort included patients with MPT prescriptions during the period June 2016-May 2017. MPTs considered included beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, antiepileptics, antidepressants and antiserotoninergics. Migraine days experienced by MPTs users were estimated counting triptan and ICP pills prescribed during the 6 months following the most recent MPT prescription, while the number of MPT switches was estimated based on MPT prescriptions during the previous two years.Results: There were 9461 patients with triptan prescriptions to treat migraine acute attacks, which accounted yearly for 0.8% of general adult population. CM patients accounted for 3% of triptan users. There were 2004 patients prescribed with MPTs, which accounted for 0.16% of general adult population. Overall, among MPT users, 291 (15%) were still experiencing at least four migraine days/month, with this proportion increasing with the increase in the number of MPT switches.Conclusions: Results from this study suggest an unmet need in the management of migraine: too many patients did not receive MPTs, with this potentially due to several reasons requiring further investigations. Furthermore, even among patients receiving MPTs, disease control level with now available drugs seems to be sub-optimal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1545-1554
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Caffeine/administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indomethacin/administration & dosage
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders/drug therapy
  • Prochlorperazine/administration & dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tryptamines/therapeutic use


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