InterMiG: international differences in the therapeutic approach to migraine patients in specialized headache centers
Background There is currently a wide therapeutic arsenal for migraine patients, without a single first-line preventive drug and we choose the different available alternatives taking into account comorbidities, national guidelines, previous treatments and personal experiences. Our objective was to evaluate the differences in the use of migraine treatments between neurologists from different countries. Methods This is a multi-centre observational study carried out by neurologists from specialized headache units in seven countries, retrospective with consecutive inclusion of all patients presenting with a migraine diagnosis, over a period of three months. Results A total of 734 patients were recruited but only 600 were considered in the analysis in order to homogenize the patient cohorts from countries: 200 Spain (ES), 100 Italy (IT), 85 Russia (RUS), 80 Germany (DE), 60 Portugal (PT), 45 Poland (PL) and 30 Australia (AU). 85.4 % of patients were women with a mean age of 42.6 ± 11.8 years. Considering previous and current preventive treatment, the order of use was: antidepressants (69.3 %), antiepileptic drugs (54.7 %), beta-blockers and antihypertensive drugs (49.7 %), OnabotulinumtoxinA (44.0 %) and others (36.2 %). Statistically significant differences were found between all pharmacological classes: antidepressants were commonly used in all countries, with the exception of Poland (AU: 76.7 %, IT: 71.0 %, DE: 60.0 %, PL: 31.1 %, PT: 71.7 %, RUS: 70.6 %, ES: 78.5 %; p < 0.0001); antiepileptic drugs were more frequently prescribed in Portugal, Australia and Spain (AU: 73.3 %, IT: 40.0 %, DE: 37.5 %, PL: 48.9 %, PT: 85.0 %, RUS: 29.4 % and ES: 69.0 %; p < 0.0001); beta-blockers and antihypertensive drugs were frequently used in all countries except Italy (AU: 60.0 %, IT: 14.0 %, DE: 53.8 %, PL: 48.9 %, PT: 68.3 %, RUS: 49.4 % and ES: 59.0 %; p < 0.0001); BTX-A were predominately used in Spain, Italy and Australia (AU:56.7 %, IT:58.0 %, DE:20.0 %, PL: 42.2 %, PT: 26.7 %, RUS: 24.7 % and ES: 58.5 %; p < 0.0001) and others were most frequently used in Poland (AU: 0.0 %, IT: 19.0 %, DE: 42.5 %, PL: 95.6 %, PT: 31.7 %, RUS: 3.5 % and ES: 49.5 %; p < 0.0001). If only patients without comorbidities are considered (200/600), statistically differences between countries persist in all preventive treatments. Conclusions There is heterogeneity in the choice of preventive treatment between different countries. Prospective comparative studies of the different oral and subcutaneous alternatives would help to create a global therapeutic algorithm that would guarantee the best option for our patients.
Antidepressant; Migraine; Preventive treatment
Gago-Veiga A, Huhn JI, Latysheva N, Vieira Campos A, Torres-Ferrus M, Alpuente Ruiz A, et al. InterMiG: international differences in the therapeutic approach to migraine patients in specialized headache centers. J Headache Pain. 2021 May 24;22:43.
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