Examining the interrelationship of migraine onset, duration, and time to treatment

Headache: The Journal of Head and Face PainLandy SH et al. | December 01, 2011

Treating migraines early with an oral triptan–containing therapy appears to be a very effective method for reducing migraine duration and preventing the need for additional medication. These findings also suggest that physicians should spend more time educating patients how to identify migraines early. Understanding the relationship between these key factors will provide insight into appropriate treatment and management of migraines, and more importantly, equip patients with the tools necessary to improve their outcomes and overall impact on functioning.


  • 509 migraineurs completed 1 online baseline survey and a diary survey after each of their next 3 migraines.
  • All subjects were 18 or older and were employed full time.


  • Migraine episodes treated within 1 hour were significantly shorter on average than those treated after 1 hour (9.1 hours vs 12.3 hours) (P < .05).
  • Over–the–counter medication was the most frequently reported first–line treatment (44%) followed by an oral triptan (30%), another prescription medication (14%), and combination therapy (4%).
  • Rescue treatment was reported in 57% of attacks.
  • The majority of over–the–counter (69%) and another prescription (55%) treated attacks required rescue whereas only 39% of first–line triptan attacks required rescue.

Read the full article on Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain