The traditional Chinese medicine prescription patterns for migraine patients in Taiwan: a population-based study

J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Feb 12;151(3):1209-1217. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.12.040. Epub 2014 Jan 2.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), when given for symptom relief, has gained widespread popularity among migraine patients. The aim of this study is to analyze the utilization of TCM among migraine patients in Taiwan.

Materials and methods: The usage, frequency of service, and the Chinese herbal products prescribed for migraine were evaluated using a representative sample of one million subjects selected at random from the 22 million beneficiaries of the National Health Insurance scheme of Taiwan.

Results: Overall, 89.3% (N=12,827) migraine patients utilized TCM and 24.2% of them sought TCM with the intention of treating their migraine-related symptoms. Migraine patients who are living in urban area and those with an episodic migraine pattern (<15 days/month) (aOR=3.18, 95% CI: 2.75-3.67) were more likely to be TCM users than those living in a rural area and those who suffered from chronic migraine (≥15 days/month) (aOR=1.00). Overall, 81.2% of TCM visits involved the prescription of a Chinese herbal remedy or remedies and Chuan-Xiong-Cha-Tiao-San, Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San, Ge-Gen-Tang, Xue-Fu-Zhu-Yu-Tang, Ban-Xia-Bai-Zhu-Tian-Ma-Tang, Qing-Shang-Juan-Tong-Tang, Xiao-Chai-Hu-Tang, Tian-Ma-Gou-Teng-Yin, Bu-Zhong-Yi-Qi-Tang, and Tian-Wang-Bu-Xin-Dan were the ten most frequently prescribed formula for treating migraine based on syndrome differentiation.

Conclusions: Chuan-Xiong-Cha-Tiao-San, which contains sedative and anti-inflammatory agents, is the most commonly prescribed Chinese herbal formula for the treatment of migraine-related phenomena.

Keywords: Chinese Herbal Product; Chuan-Xiong-Cha-Tiao-San; Migraine; TCM; Traditional Chinese medicine; prescription pattern.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Taiwan
  • Young Adult