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Keywords:

  • Migraine;
  • triptans;
  • early intervention;
  • act when mild treatment;
  • allodynia

Valade D. Early treatment of acute migraine: new evidence of benefits. Cephalalgia 2009; 29 (Suppl. 3):15–21. London. ISSN 0333-1024

The current management approach to migraine headaches advocates use of triptan medications early in the course of an attack while pain is still mild, rather than waiting to treat the pain when it has progressed to moderate–severe. Recently, strong new evidence for the benefits of early intervention has become available. The AEGIS, AIMS and AwM studies of almotriptan in patients with migraine indicate that earlier treatment initiation and lower pain intensity at the time of treatment are important predictors of enhanced therapeutic outcomes. The opportunity to treat early exists for about 50% of all migraine attacks, which offers considerable scope for improving migraine management. Importantly, treating pain early and before it has progressed beyond ‘mild’ meets many of the expectations patients have of their migraine treatment. It is believed that consistent, positive outcomes may assist in overcoming the various physician- and patient-perceived barriers to adoption of this beneficial treatment strategy.