Open Access

Frequent analgesics consumption in migraineurs: comparison between chronic and episodic migraineurs

The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches5:65

Received: 20 June 2003

Accepted: 15 December 2003


To assess the frequent consumption of symptomatic medications in migraineurs, we consecutively recruited 536 migraineurs from a headache clinic. Among them, 194 (36.2%) had chronic migraine and 342 had episodic migraine. When grouped according to duration of headache, the proportion of patients with chronic migraine increased from 25.5% to 50.9% as headache history increased from <1 to >20 years. The percentage of patients with frequent analgesics consumption also increased with the duration of headache, in patients with both chronic migraine (from 25.0% to 85.7%) and episodic migraine (from 20.0% to 59.3%). Nonetheless, patients with chronic migraine had a higher prevalence of frequent consumption of abortive medications than patients with episodic migraine regardless of duration of headache history, and the common odds ratio across strata of headache duration was 2.8 (95% confidence interval, 1.9–4.1). However, we found that a long headache history is an important risk factor for frequent consumption of symptomatic medications in migraineurs in patients with both episodic migraine and chronic migraine.

Key words

Chronic daily headacheChronic migraineDrug overuse