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Can J Neurol Sci. 2010 Sep;37(5):588-94.

Botulinum toxin type A and acute drug costs in migraine with triptan overuse.

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Department of Neurology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.



Patients with chronic migraine and medication overuse are significant consumers of health care resources.


To determine whether botulinum toxin type A prophylaxis reduces the cost of acute migraine medications in patients with chronic migraine and triptan overuse.


In this multicenter, open-label study, patients with chronic migraine (≥ 15 headache days/month) who were triptan overusers (triptan intake ≥ 10 days/month for ≥ 3 months) received botulinum toxin type A (95-130 U) at baseline and month three. Headache (HA) frequency and medication use were assessed with patient diaries, and headache-related disability by means of the MIDAS and Headache Impact Test-6 questionnaires.


Of 53 patients enrolled (mean age ± standard deviation, 46.5 years ± 8.4; 47 [88.7%] females), 48 (90.6%) completed the study at month six. Based on headache diaries, significant (P ≤ 0.0002) decreases from baseline were observed for days per month with headache/migraine, days with any acute headache medication use, days with triptan use, and triptan doses taken per month. A significant (P < 0.0001) increase from baseline in headache-free days per month was also observed. Prescription medication costs for acute headache medications decreased significantly, including significant reductions in triptan costs (mean reduction of -C$106.32 ± 122.87/month during botulinum toxin type A prophylaxis; P < 0.0001). At baseline, 78% of patients had severe disability (MIDAS score) and 86.8% had severe impact due to headache (HIT-6 scores); at month six, this decreased to 60% and 68%, respectively.


Botulinum toxin type A prophylactic therapy markedly decreased costs related to acute headache medication use in patients with chronic migraine and triptan overuse.

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