Characterization of Acute Prescription Migraine Medication Use: Results From the CaMEO Study

Susan Hutchinson, Richard B. Lipton, Jessica Ailani, Michael L. Reed, Kristina M. Fanning, Aubrey Manack Adams, Dawn C. Buse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To characterize self-reported use of acute prescription medication for migraine in a sample representing the US population. Patients and Methods: Data were obtained from the Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO) Study. The CaMEO Study is an Internet-based cross-sectional longitudinal survey administered between September 17, 2012, and November 19, 2013. Demographic characteristics, migraine-related disability, symptom severity, quality of life, and psychiatric comorbidity profiles were evaluated. Results: Data from 13,624 respondents were analyzed, including 3121 (22.9%) self-reported current users of acute prescription medication for migraine, 1719 (12.6%) previous/discontinued users, and 8784 (64.5%) who had never used acute prescription medication for migraine. Mean ± SD monthly headache frequency was 7.3±7.1 days for current users, 5.6±6.6 days for those who discontinued, and 3.9±4.9 days for respondents who never used acute prescription medication for migraine. Current users experienced the highest degree of migraine-related disability based on Migraine Disability Assessment scores and the highest levels of migraine symptom severity based on Migraine Symptom Severity Scale scores. Current users also had the highest scores on the depression and anxiety questionnaires. The most commonly reported prescription medications used or “kept on hand” by current users were triptans (47.2%; 1474 of 3121), opioids (37.3%; 1164 of 3121), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (31.9%; 997 of 3121), and barbiturates (12.8%; 399 of 3121), with many people reporting more than 1 medication. Conclusion: Despite reporting moderate to severe migraine-related disability and impairment, many people with migraine have never used acute prescription migraine medication. The burden related to migraine is great, especially among individuals currently using acute prescription medication for migraine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-718
Number of pages10
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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