What do patients with migraine want from acute migraine treatment?

Headache. 2002 Jan;42 Suppl 1:3-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.2002.0420s1003.x.


Migraine is a common chronic condition with an ever-expanding therapeutic armamentarium. As therapeutic options multiply, it is increasingly important to understand patients' attitudes and preferences regarding various treatment characteristics. Several strategies have evolved to establish treatment priorities in migraine and rationalize and prioritize end points and outcomes to meet the needs of patients. A survey of a population-based sample of migraineurs indicated that an overwhelming majority of patients consider complete relief of head pain, no recurrence, and rapid onset of action as important or very important attributes of acute migraine therapy. An analysis of the relationship between clinical end points and satisfaction found that more than 90% of patients who were pain-free at 2 hours were at least somewhat satisfied with treatment, but satisfaction was dependent on relatively rapid relief. Using a "willingness-to-pay" approach, results indicated that while patients will pay more for migraine treatment that produces rapid, consistent relief without adverse effects or recurrence, speed of complete relief is the most valued attribute. By assessing physician preferences and practices, degree of pain relief and rapid onset were identified as the most important attributes of acute therapy. Based on results from preference studies of triptans, 50% of patients cited more rapid pain relief as the most important determinant of treatment preference. Based on these various approaches, the consensus view is that both clinicians and patients desire a broad range of positive migraine treatment attributes, but rapid onset of complete pain relief is a particularly important priority.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Data Collection
  • Endpoint Determination
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Migraine Disorders / economics
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tryptamines / therapeutic use*


  • Tryptamines