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PLoS One. 2019 Jan 23;14(1):e0211191. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211191. eCollection 2019.

Self-medication for migraine: A nationwide cross-sectional study in Italy.

Author information

1
Department of Science and Technology of Drugs, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
2
Order of Pharmacists of Turin, Turin, Italy.
3
Department of Surgical Sciences, Women's Headache Center, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
4
FI.CEF Onlus, Italian Headache Foundation, Milan, Italy.
5
Epidemiology Unit, ASL TO3, Grugliasco (Turin), Italy.
6
ATF Informatics, Cuneo, Italy.
7
FOFI, Federation of the Orders of Italian Pharmacists, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

Headache disorders are considered the second leading cause of years lived with disability worldwide, and 90% of people have a headache episode at least once a year, thus representing a relevant public health priority. As the pharmacist is often the first and only point of reference for people complaining of headache, we carried out a survey in a nationwide sample of Italian pharmacies, in order to describe the distribution of migraine or non-migraine type headaches and medicines overuse among people entering pharmacies seeking for self-medication; and to evaluate the association, in particular of migraine, with socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, and with the pathway of care followed by the patients. A 14-item questionnaire, including socio-demographic and clinical factors, was administered by trained pharmacists to subjects who entered a pharmacy requesting self-medication for a headache attack. The ID Migraineā„¢ Screener was used to classify headache sufferers in four classes. From June 2016 to January 2017, 4424 people have been interviewed. The prevalence of definite migraines was 40%, significantly higher among women and less educated people. About half of all headache sufferers and a third of migraineurs do not consider their condition as a disease and are not cared by any doctor. Among people seeking self-medication in pharmacies for acute headache attacks, the rate of definite or probable migraine is high, and a large percentage of them is not correctly diagnosed and treated. The pharmacy can be a valuable observatory for the study of headaches, and the first important step to improve the quality of care delivered to these patients.

PMID:
30673780
PMCID:
PMC6343913
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0211191
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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