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Treatment patterns in patients using triptan and prophylactic medication: an analysis of clinical practice prior to the introduction of CGRP antagonists

Authors Huber CA, Agosti R, Näpflin M, Blozik E

Received 5 March 2019

Accepted for publication 29 May 2019

Published 19 July 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 2211—2221


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael A Überall

Carola A Huber,1 Reto Agosti,2 Markus Näpflin,1 Eva Blozik1,3

1Department of Health Sciences, Helsana Insurance Group, Zürich, Switzerland; 2Headache Center Hirslanden, Hirslanden Hospital Group, Zürich, Switzerland; 3Department of Medicine, University of Medical Centre Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Purpose: The newly developed calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonists were recently launched on the US and European market, with Switzerland as the second country worldwide. To enable forthcoming comparisons with established migraine therapy, the aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive picture of migraine (prophylactic) treatment patterns. Recent data in daily clinical practice are lacking.
Patients and methods: This population-based cohort study included enrollees from a Swiss Healthcare Insurance Database with at least one triptan prescription in 2015. Treatment patterns were defined by assessing subsequent triptan and prophylactic medication use (after index prescription for triptan) within the following year, divided into four quarters.
Results: Triptans were used by 10,090 patients (1.3%) in 2015. Most of them used triptan only (82.6%), 12.9% changed the treatment between triptan and prophylactics, and 4.5% received both in combination within 1year. Among triptan users with ≥1 prophylactic prescription in the first quarter, 48.6% used beta-blockers (BB), 40.7% “other prophylactics than BB (eg, topiramate)”, and 10.7% “a combination of both”. Most patients who received both BB and other prophylactics in the first quarter used this drug combination continuously over all four quarters.
Conclusion: This study provides comprehensive data on treatment patterns prior to the introduction of a new drug class in migraine therapy. The majority of triptan users had no prophylactic medication therapy; however, a small, but relevant group used BB and other prophylactics concurrently in all quarters. Findings quantify the population in potential need for optimized migraine therapy, ie, the potential target population of the novel CGRP-targeted drugs.

Keywords: innovation, headache, migraine, preventive medication, drugs, real-world data

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