Polypharmacy in a Headache Centre Population


Linda N. Oates, R.N., The John R. Graham Headache Centre, Faulkner Hospital, 1153 Centre Street, Boston, MA 02130



In this paper we report the prevalence of self-medication and polypharmacy in our patient population at the John R. Graham Headache Centre at the Faulkner Hospital, Boston. One hundred fifty patients were interviewed when they called the Headache Centre and spoke to a triage nurse, A significantly higher number of women than men called in for triage counselling. Sixty-nine percent of the patients reported taking non-Headache Centre medications, either prescribed or over the counter (OTC); 39% of the patients took pain medications. Thirty-one different medications were named by patients for a mix of diagnoses.