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Survey: Migraine Patients Taking Potentially Addictive Barbiturate,or Opioid Medications Not Approved by FDA as Migraine Treatments

of life than patients taking triptans, according to the survey. Patients taking these drugs were twice as likely as patients on triptans to say that migraines "always" limited their ability to exercise or play sports (35% vs. 14%), engage in sexual activity (33% vs. 17%), drive a car (28% vs. 14%), spend time with family and friends (28% vs. 8%) or simply get out of the house (33% vs. 15%).

Addiction can lead to hospitalization

Cathy Turley, of Rye Brook, NY, who was not involved in the survey, said that in the process of trying to relieve her "debilitating" migraines, which caused her to miss two to three days of work a week, she had become addicted to a medication that contained a barbiturate.

"I was up to 10 or 12 of those [pills] a day," Turley said. "I would take as many as I could as long as I had the headache. That was why I got up to so many pills. It was absolutely the wrong medication for me to take, because it was making the migraine worse."

After spending five days in the hospital to get weaned off the barbiturate, Turley was prescribed a medication specifically approved to treat migraines. The medication has "given me back my life," she said.

Physicians say that detoxification from barbiturate and opioid over-use in headache patients may require hospitalization. (1)

Migraine Patients Want FDA-Approved, Non-Addictive Treatments

Though many patients are prescribed barbiturates and opioids for their migraines, the majority indicated that they prefer their migraine medication to be FDA approved for the disease, not addictive and have few side effects. Seven out of ten patients (72%) surveyed said it's "extremely" or "very" important that their prescription medications not be addictive, and eight out of ten patients (79%) said it's "extremely" or "very" important that their prescription medication have only minor side effects. Sixty-five percent said it's important that their migraine medication be approved b
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