Migraine Treatment: The British Perspective



Migraine occurs in about 10% of the population in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the United States there seem to be more complicated patients and the expectations of the patient are higher. In the United Kingdom there is a tendency to use single rather than compound formulations, and drugs such as barbiturates cannot be prescribed for migraine. In treating migraine the first and most important thing is to get the correct diagnosis which depends on the history and the absence of abnormal physical signs. Investigations do not confirm the diagnosis of migraine, they are only necessary to exclude other causes of headaches. Most sufferers from migraine have less than four attacks a month. Attack therapy is usually all that is required, and over the past 20 years efficient attack therapy has been developed. This depends mainly on sleep, an antinauseant, analgesics, ergotamine and more recently sumatriptan.