The Burden of Migraines
• Migraine costs the United States more than $20 billion each year. Costs are attributed to direct medical expenses (e.g. doctor visits, medications) and indirect expenses (e.g. missed work, lost productivity).
• Migraine is disabling. The World Health Organization places migraine as one of the 20 most disabling medical illnesses on the planet.
• Chronic migraine is even more disabling.
• Those with migraine are more likely to have depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, other pain conditions, and fatigue.
• People who have a history of experiencing an aura phase have been shown to be at an increased risk for stroke and heart attack.
Current Migraine Treatments are Inadequate
• There is no cure for migraine. Treatments are aimed at reducing headache frequency and stopping individual headaches when they occur.
• Prophylactic treatments (to reduce headache frequency) may include avoidance of migraine triggers, medications, physical therapies and behavioral therapies.
• Abortive treatments (taken when a patient has a headache) include over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription medications.
• Although prophylactic and abortive treatments help many people with migraine, they are far from perfect. Undoubtedly, better treatments are needed.
• Prophylactic medications reduce headache frequency by 1/2 in only about 40% of patients who take these medications.
• Medication side effects often limit the use of migraine medications.