Free Migraine Pharmacy Packs
The Migraine Association of Ireland with the support of Novartis has produced free information packs including posters and information leaflets which are now available to pharmacists. MAI is actively encouraging patients to seek the expert advice of their local pharmacist to better manage their migraine and headache symptoms. We are also highlighting the services and support provided by The Migraine Association and encouraging pharmacists to refer clients to our organisation.
With 46% of the adult population suffering from an active headache disorder, pharmacies are very often the first port of call for treatment, offering a variety of products, both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical. In 2016, medical advisor to MAI, Dr. Eddie O’Sullivan from Cork University Hospital conducted a study which demonstrated the key role pharmacists play in advising them and supporting people that suffer from migraine.
Half of the study participants had not consulted a GP for an official diagnosis and only half had ever sought advice from the pharmacist on medication options. The most frequently used painkillers were paracetamol or ibuprofen, whilst the preferred treatment choices were codeine based products, the overuse of which can lead to medication-overuse headache. The majority of patients in this study did not have a medical card. This suggested that the cost of accessing a GP was a barrier to getting appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Pharmacists are likely to have an enhanced role in headache management now that the Triptan, Sumatriptan, has become available over the counter, and if the prevalence of migraine and medication overuse headache increases, as national figures recently indicated.