Background and purpose: The cost of medication overuse headache (MOH) is underestimated. Our aim was to address the cost-effectiveness of a structured treatment protocol and to present annual cost estimates. Methods: Patients were enrolled on the occasion of a structured treatment protocol, were administered a research protocol addressing direct and indirect costs and were followed up for 3 months. Results: Of 176 enrolled patients, 138 completed the study. The 3-month cost per patient fell from €2989 to €1160: the difference was €696 per month for patients treated in the ward and €466 for those treated in day-hospital; thus it takes 2–3 months to compensate for the protocol's cost. The per-person annual costs of MOH were €10 533 (95% confidence interval €8700–12 406): direct healthcare costs accounted for 44.8% and indirect costs for 51.5% of the total MOH cost. The annual MOH cost for Italy is estimated at €13.5 billion (95% confidence interval €11.1–15.9 billion). Conclusion: The cost of MOH around the period of a structured treatment protocol is much higher compared to previous estimates. Our protocol is cost-effective for reducing the economic burden of MOH.
- chronic migraine
- chronic tension-type headache
- medication overuse headache
- non-pharmacological treatment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology