Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Medication Overuse Headache Article: Education Through a Biased Lens?


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Sometimes the possibility of funding-related prejudice in the interpretation of medical research seems eerily noticeable.

A recent article in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine discusses the issue of Medication Overuse Headache. This is undoubtedly an important issue for doctors and patients to be aware of, but may be somewhat unpopular with drug companies who want to sell as many doses of their migraine treatment medications as possible. As is often the case, a number of pharmaceutical companies, some of which sell triptans, provided financial support for the research institutions that employ the study's authors. It may be a total coincidence, but I had to wonder if this was why the article suggested that patients using butalbital and opioids are more likely to develop Medication Overuse Headache than those who use migraine-specific drugs.

Breaking the Cycle of Medication Overuse Headache
"The authors have disclosed that they have received institutional research support from ATI, GlaxoSmithKline, MAP, and Merck and honoraria and consulting fees for teaching, speaking, consulting, and serving on advisory committees or review panels from GlaxoSmithKline, MAP, Merck, NuPathe, and Zogenix."
The truth is that just about any medication used for treating an acute migraine attack, whether developed specifically for that purpose or not, has the potential to contribute to a patient's risk of developing Medication Overuse Headache. Furthermore, some researchers believe one type of migraine-specific medicine, triptans, is more likely to cause recurrent migraines rather than just recurrent generic headaches.

To learn more about Medication Overuse Headache, visit this link on Teri Robert's website:  Medication Overuse Headache: When the Remedy Backfires.

Sources:
Phenotype-Driven Strategies for Migraine
Medication Overuse Headache: When the Remedy Backfires
Revised Guidelines for Medication Overuse Headache

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.