Medication use and overuse in people with migraine

At EAN 2022, Gisela Terwindt, Professor of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands, introduced herself and discussed how many patients with migraine symptoms are actually unaware they have migraine. As a result, they take only acute, over-the-counter medications and do not discuss symptoms with a healthcare professional. People who are diagnosed with migraine may also take acute medication, including triptans, but may not take it within the right time window, and/or they may take medication over a number of days, leading to medication overuse headache. This is especially a problem for women and people who menstruate as migraine at this time can be more severe, be of longer duration, and be unresponsive to triptans for at least some of this time. Professor Terwindt discussed how some healthcare professionals and patients are not well educated regarding these problems and patients may not be properly instructed on correct medication usage, including that of preventative medication, for migraines.

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