Triptans: low utilization and high turnover in the general population

Research paper by A Panconesi, E Pavone, M Franchini, N Mennuti, ML Bartolozzi, L Guidi, R Banfi

Indexed on: 09 Mar '16Published on: 03 Sep '09Published in: Cephalalgia


Studies performed in selected populations have shown a poor utilization of triptans for migraine. Our study was aimed at establishing patterns of triptans utilization in a large community using the pharmaceutical prescriptions database of two consecutive years in a regional Health Authority in Italy. About 0.5% of the population observed received triptans prescriptions in a year, but > 50% of the cases received only one prescription. On the other hand, 46% of triptan users did not receive a triptan prescription in the following year (past users): in 80% of cases, patients received only 1–2 triptan packages. The evaluation of the discontinued triptan type has shown percentages varying between 30 and 70%. The percentage of triptan users who received a triptan prescription for the first time in the successive year of study (new users) was 52%. These findings together highlight a high turnover in triptans utilization. Less than 15% of subjects received more than one triptan product in the 2 years. In conclusion, we observed a low percentage of triptan users and a low rate of utilization, associated with a high percentage of discontinuation and new utilization (high turnover), without any substantial increase in triptans utilization during the years. All these data probably do not support optimal satisfaction with triptan therapy.