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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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Pharmaceutical Department ASL 11, Empoli, Florence, Italy.


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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