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Neurol Sci. 2017 May;38(Suppl 1):15-20. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-2908-7.

Community pharmacies as epidemiological sentinels of headache: first experience in Italy.

Author information

1
Department of Scienza e Tecnologia del Farmaco, University of Turin, Via P. Giuria n. 9, 10125, Turin, Italy. paola.brusa@unito.it.
2
Order of Pharmacists of Turin, Turin, Italy. paola.brusa@unito.it.
3
Department of Scienza e Tecnologia del Farmaco, University of Turin, Via P. Giuria n. 9, 10125, Turin, Italy.
4
Department of Surgical Sciences, Women's Headache Center, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
5
FI.CEF Onlus, Milan, Italy.
6
Epidemiology Unit, ASL TO3, Grugliasco, Italy.
7
Order of Pharmacists of Turin, Turin, Italy.
8
FOFI, Federation of the Orders of Italian Pharmacists, Rome, Italy.
9
ATF Informatics, Cuneo, Italy.
10
Federfarma Piemonte, Turin, Italy.

Abstract

Migraine is a disabling neurovascular syndrome which affects 12-15% of the global population and it represents the third cause in years lived with disability in both males and females aged 15-49 years. Among migraineurs, the symptomatic drug abuse may be a risk factor in the development of medication overuse headache (MOH). Detecting cases of MOH is not straightforward; community pharmacists may, therefore, be in a strategic position to identify individuals who self-medicate, particularly with respect to prevent the development of MOH. In 2014, our group published the results of a survey conducted in Piedmont, Italy, on the patterns of use and dispensing of drugs in patients requesting assistance from pharmacists for relief of a migraine attack. We decided, now, to expand the scope of the model to a national level. The study is based on cross-sectional face-to-face interviews using questionnaires, presented in this paper, consisting of a first part regarding the socio-economic situation and a second part which aimed to classify the disease and any excessive use of drugs. Of the 610 pharmacists trained with an online course, 446 gathered a total of 4425 correctly compiled questionnaires. The participation of community pharmacies has highlighted various criticalities especially of an organisational nature; however, it also revealed the power of this method as a means of gathering epidemiological data with a capillarity which few other methods can match. The objective was also to identify each territory's requirements and facilitate the decision-making process in terms of understanding what patients/citizens actually require.

KEYWORDS:

Community pharmacy; Medication overuse headache; Migraine

PMID:
28527066
DOI:
10.1007/s10072-017-2908-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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