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Keywords:

  • migraine;
  • treatment;
  • primary care;
  • triptan;
  • prophylaxis

(Headache 2011;51:1122-1131)

Objectives.— To assess headache treatment patterns in 2 groups: general practitioners (GPs) who suffered from migraine themselves (GP-M) and GPs having a close family member with migraine (GP-CFM). The secondary objective was to assess the impact of migraine on activities of daily living in these 2 groups.

Background.— Personal experience of migraine may influence prescribing practices of physicians treating patients with migraine. Little data are available on perceptions of migraine by GPs.

Methods.— This was an observational, cross-sectional, pharmacoepidemiological survey conducted in primary care in France. Most GPs completed 1 of 2 questionnaires, and GPs belonging to both groups could complete both. Data were collected on headache treatments used (GP-M) or prescribed (GP-CFM), and on self-reported (GP-M) or described (GP-CFM) migraine features and impact on daily activities.

Results.— The most frequently reported acute headache treatments in both groups were triptans and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (>75% of GPs); >81% of GPs in both groups were satisfied with acute headache treatments. Only 6.9% of the GP-M group used and 17.2% of the GP-CFM group prescribed a prophylactic treatment, which was considered satisfactory by 46.2% and 56.1%, respectively. In the preceding 3 months, 79.4% of the GP-M group reported handicap in daily activities due to migraine, 23.6% interruption of extraprofessional activities and 7.6% interruption of work. In the GP-CFM group, 32.6% described interruption of extraprofessional activities and 57.3% interference with daily activities or work.

Conclusions.— Acute headache treatment prescribed by French GPs for their own migraines or those of their relatives respect practice guidelines and is considered as effective and satisfactory. Use of prophylactic medication is low and its effectiveness perceived as limited. Better use of prophylactic treatments may attenuate the impact of migraine on daily activities.