Objective: To assess the level of satisfaction and determinants of satisfaction or dissatisfaction of patients presenting in tertiary care, in regard to their usual care (UC) for the acute treatment of migraine.
Design/methods: Patients seen in 3 headache centers were assessed by means of 21 attributes related to their UC. Questions covered satisfaction with efficacy (including onset of relief, degree of relief, consistency of action, ease of use), tolerability (lack of side effects overall, CNS side effects, other side effects), and willingness to continue using the same medication and to change to another medication. All questions were answered on a 5-point scale (where 1 was strongly agree, 2 was agree, 3 was neutral, 4 was disagree, and 5 was strongly disagree).
Results: We assessed 183 subjects (74.8% women, mean age = 39.3 years). UC consisted, as a single drug or combination, of: triptan conventional tablets--62%; triptan disintegrating tablets--8%; sumatriptan nasal spray 9%; sumatriptan injection, 9%; nontriptans--19.6%. Most (54%) had no benefit within the first hour of treatment. The maximum benefit took more than 1 hour to be reached in 69%, and more than 2 hours in 36%. After the maximum benefit had been reached, pain worsened in 61%. Although 58% were satisfied with the degree of relief, 37% were dissatisfied with the speed of effect, 50% with the recurrence of pain, and 42% with the need for a second dose. Most were satisfied with the tolerability (56%). Finally, most (79.7%) said they were willing to try another acute medication.
Conclusions: An important subset of patients, including a large subgroup of patients using triptans, is dissatisfied with their UC. Clinical trials assessing patients' preference should be conducted to complement the information from clinical trials.