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Cephalalgia. 2007 Sep;27(9):1000-4. Epub 2007 Aug 6.

Patterns of triptans use: a study based on the records of a community pharmaceutical department.

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1
Pharmaceutical Department ASL 11, Empoli, Florence, Italy. e.pavone@usl11.toscana.it

Abstract

Studies performed in selected populations show that the use of triptans for migraine is low. Our study was aimed at establishing patterns of triptan utilization in a large community using the drug prescription database of a regional Health Authority in Italy. In a population of 224,065 residents, 0.55% received at least one prescription of triptans in 1 year: 77.9% were female and 22.1% male. Oral dosage forms accounted for 94% of prescriptions. About 60% of patients received a single prescription (containing one or two packages) of one triptan in 1 year. Age distribution showed that 7% of patients were aged > 65 years. They received 14% of packages, prevalently sumatriptan and zolmitriptan (the two triptans with the longest commercialization in Italy); 5.7% of patients received 40% of packages. Moreover, 3.2% of triptans users received > 120 dosage units in the year in the form of tablets (>10 single doses/month), and were potential triptan abusers. Our data indicate suboptimal treatment of migraine patients and also incorrect treatment of some patients (potential triptans abusers, the elderly).

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