Results of a 2-year retrospective cohort study of newly prescribed triptan users in European nationwide practice databases

Daisy S. Ng-Mak, Ya Ting Chen, Tony W. Ho, Bianca Stanford, Montse Roset

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: This study was conducted to characterize prescription refill patterns for triptans among European patients with new prescriptions of triptans.Background: Persistency with prescriptions of triptan monotherapy for migraine headache among newly prescribed users in European primary-care practices has not been well described.Methods: Using electronic medical databases in the UK (N-=-3618), France (N-=-2051) and Germany (N-=-954), we conducted a retrospective cohort analysis to identify refill patterns over 2 years among migraineurs receiving new prescriptions of triptan monotherapy in 2006.Results: Of all patients, >33% of migraineurs with new triptan prescriptions received ≥1 refill of their index triptan prescriptions (UK, 44.3%; France, 34.2%; Germany, 37.7%). More than 50% never received index-triptan refill prescriptions (UK, 55.7%; France, 65.8%; Germany, 63.3%). Small proportions of patients (<7.0%) switched to alternative triptans, and even fewer switched to different prescription-medication classes (UK and Germany, 2.3%; France, 4.0%). More than 48% of patients received no further prescriptions for migraine after index prescriptions (UK, 48.5%; France, 54.9%; Germany, 54.7%). After the second year, >83.0% of patients in each country had no further prescriptions for migraine medications, <14.0% remained persistent with index prescriptions, <4.0% switched to other triptans, and <3.0% switched to alternative medication classes.Conclusions: In migraine patients who received new prescriptions of triptan monotherapy from their primary-care physicians, poor triptan prescription refill frequency was observed in Europe. Although consistent with potential clinical challenges in migraine management, our findings should be interpreted with caution given certain inherent limitations associated with the database study design. Further research is warranted to confirm our findings and to identify reasons for, or predictors of, triptan discontinuation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-887
Number of pages13
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Triptan persistency
  • migraine medication adherence
  • persistency
  • refill patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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