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

y the FDA to treat the disease.

Some migraine patients mistakenly think their medication is not addictive: 36 percent of patients taking barbiturates or opioids as their primary migraine prescription medication said the phrase "not addictive" describes their medication "extremely" or "very" well, according to the survey.

Few physicians surveyed prescribe barbiturates or opioids (2% and 1% respectively) as a first-line acute treatment for migraines, but general practitioners are more likely than neurologists to prescribe opioids as a second-line treatment, the survey found. Twenty-five percent of general practitioners say they would prescribe opioids as a second-line therapy for migraines, compared with just 7 percent of neurologists.

"Though it's encouraging that the survey showed 53 percent of migraine patients are now on triptans, an approved drug class, the fact that 20 percent of patients continue to take medications unapproved to treat migraine indicates that additional physician education could be helpful" said Suzanne Simons, executive director of the National Headache Foundation.

Simple Steps to Achieving Optimal Migraine Treatment

While there is no cure for migraines, taking the right medication below to effectively treat your migraine will minimize how they affect your daily life. Here are a few steps you can take to help optimize your migraine treatment.

    -- Observe. Make note of any side effects that you experience from your

       migraine medication which may affect your daily activities.

    -- Communicate. Keep a headache journal or diary. The journal may include

       when the headache occurred, its severity, duration, location and

       whether the medication you took to treat it was effective. You can

       download a free headache diary at http://www.headaches.org

    -- Use self-management techniques -- There are ways to manage your

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