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|Edward M O’Sullivan|
|Cork University Hospital, Ireland|
|Keynote: J Clin Res Bioeth|
|Many headache patients self-medicate and choose their preferred analgesic from a range of acute analgesics available on the high-street and from community pharmacies. Little is known about their presenting symptoms, headache diagnosis and their preferred treatments. A questionnaire was distributed to community pharmacies in the Munster region of Ireland and was administered to patients requesting treatment for headache. A total of 1023 completed questionnaires were received, 76.7% (n=765) were female and 51.8% were aged 18-39 years. 53.3% (n=542) were not previously diagnosed by a GP and 49.6% (n=502) had never sought advice from a pharmacist. According to the symptoms described, 32% (n=327) had episodic migraine and a further 15.2% (n=155) had probable episodic migraine. 30.3% (n=310) had tension type headache. 10.7% (n=105) had chronic daily headache. Codeine based products were the preferred treatment choice for 43.1% (n=441). Triptans were the most effective, 68.6% (n=166), in those for whom they were previously prescribed. 11.8% (n=121) had medicationoveruse. The community pharmacist is an important resource in headache management. An expanded role incorporating best practice management guidelines has the potential to improve the outcomes for many headache sufferers.|
Edward M O’Sullivan Graduate of University College Cork Medical School General Practitioner in Bishop town, Cork Clinical Director Headache / Migraine Clinic, Department of Neurology, Cork University Hospital, Medical Advisor to the Migraine Association of Ireland.
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