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Keywords:

  • migraine;
  • rizatriptan;
  • disability;
  • productivity;
  • quality of life;
  • workdays

Objective.—To evaluate the impact of treatment with rizatriptan 10 mg on jobs and quality of life of patients with migraine.

Methods.—Prospective, open-label study at 27 work sites of 20 companies representing diverse labor sectors in Spain. Eligible patients according International Headache Society (IHS) criteria were recruited for the study by on-site physicians and instructed to treat moderate or severe migraine attacks with one tablet of rizatriptan 10 mg. They were asked to complete the study questionnaires (ML-96, SF-36) at baseline, and then 3 months later.

Results.—A total of 259 patients (83 men and 176 women) of a mean age of 39 (range 18 to 61 years) completed the study. Only 7% had taken triptans before for treatment of their migraine attacks. After 3 months of rizatriptan therapy, the use of medical services was significantly lower and all tested domains of quality of life had improved (P < .001). Absenteeism and days worked during migraine attacks also fell significantly during 3 months of rizatriptan therapy as compared with the 3 months before the study (P < .001). The improvement in productivity was reflected in the significant decreases in lost workday equivalents (decrease from 3.32 to 1.21 days; P < .001) and also in the total number of workdays lost (decrease from 5.16 to 1.82 days; P < .001). Two-thirds of patients described the efficacy of oral rizatriptan as excellent or very good (62%), and 89% preferred it over their usual medications for acute treatment of migraine attacks.

Conclusion.—For this employed population of patients with migraine, treatment with rizatriptan significantly improved parameters measuring direct medical costs, work and productivity, and health-related quality of life. In accordance with these findings, direct and indirect costs related to migraine could be substantially reduced by gathering detailed information about the nature of headache, eliminating triggering factors, and instituting effective treatment of migraine attacks.