Impact of Sumatriptan on Workplace Productivity, Nonwork Activities, and Health-Related Quality of Life Among Hospital Employees With Migraine


  • Presented in part as a poster exhibit at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Educational Conference, Anaheim, Calif, October 21-23, 1994.

Dr. George R. Mushet, Director, Georgia Headache Treatment Center, 820 St. Sebastian Way, Suite 5-C, Augusta, GA 30901.


This prospective, open-label study evaluated the effects of subcutaneous sumatriptan versus usual therapy on workplace productivity, activity time outside of work, and health-related quality of life in 43 men or women who were hospital employees diagnosed with migraine according to International Headache Society criteria. Patients treated migraines with their usual therapy for 12 to 18 weeks followed by subcutaneous sumatriptan for 6 months. Health-related quality of life measurements obtained at baseline, after usual therapy, and after sumatriptan therapy included the Short Form-36 Health Surveyº and the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaireº . Patient daily diaries were used to capture data on migraine symptoms and on Lost Workplace Productivity and Non-workplace Activity Time. Traditional clinical efficacy measures were obtained to support the pharmacoeconomic data. Clinical data showed that the percentage of treated migraine days per patient on which the patient experienced relief (moderate or severe pain reduced to mild or none) was 75% with sumatriptan and 25% with usual therapy. The mean time to meaningful relief was 1.1 hours during the sumatriptan phase and 4.2 hours during the usual therapy phase. Lost Workplace Productivity and Nonworkplace Activity Time was 35% lower with sumatriptan therapy (1.5 hours) compared with usual therapy (2.3 hours). Time missed from work due to symptoms time worked with symptoms, and time normal activities were carried on with symptoms were each lower during sumatriptan therapy compared with usual therapy. Scores on each of the three Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire dimensions and on the Role-Emotional dimension of the Short Form-36 were significantly more favorable after sumatriptan than after usual therapy (P<0.05). These data demonstrate that treatment of migraines with sumatriptan for 6 months following usual therapy for 12 to 18 weeks was associated with improvement in clinical efficacy, reduction in lost workplace productivity and nonworkplace activity time, and enhancement of key dimensions of health-related quality of life among employees of a large university hospital.