Management of migraine in Australian general practice

Richard J Stark, Lisa Valenti, Graeme C Miller

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OBJECTIVES: To determine the proportion of patients who have a diagnosis of migraine in a sample of Australian general practice patients, and to review the prophylactic and acute drug treatments used by these patients. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A cohort of general practitioners collected data from about 30 consecutive patients each as part of the BEACH (Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health) program; this is a continuous national study of general practice activity in Australia. The migraine substudy was conducted in June-July 2005 and December 2005-January 2006. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of patients with a current diagnosis of migraine; frequency of migraine attacks; current and previous drug treatments; and appropriateness of treatment assessed using published guidelines. RESULTS: 191 GPs reported that 649 of 5663 patients (11.5 ) had been diagnosed with migraine. Prevalence was 14.9 in females and 6.1 in males. Migraine frequency in these patients was one or fewer attacks per month in 77.1 (476/617), two per month in 10.5 (65/617), and three or more per month in 12.3 (76/617) (missing data excluded). Only 8.3 (54/648) of migraine patients were currently taking prophylactic medication. Patients reporting three or more migraines or two migraines per month were significantly more likely to be taking prophylactic medication (19.7 and 25.0 , respectively) than those with less frequent migraine attacks (3.8 ) (P <0.0001). Prophylactic medication had been used previously by 15.0 (96/640). The most common prophylactic agents used currently or previously were pizotifen and propranolol; other appropriate agents were rarely used, and inappropriate use of acute medications accounted for 9 of ....
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142 - 146
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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