Kita Williams, MD, discusses how goals may differ for patients seeking to prevent migraines from occurring vs acute migraine treatment.
Kita Williams, MD: Whether a patient is being treated for acute headache attacks vs being treated to prevent the headache attack from occurring, is a different approach. We must ensure patients do not overuse their acute medications. If they’re on a triptan, and they’re using those every day, obviously that can lead to an overused headache, and patients must be made aware of that. As practitioners and clinicians we must ensure that we are not allowing patients to overuse their acute medications, talking to them about the possibility of a medication overuse headache, and offering preventive medicines when we see that they’re having 4 to 14 headache days a month or more, then those are times when we need to do that, or if they’re having debilitating headaches, even if they’re just having one or two, getting them something to prevent the headache from ever happening. That’s how we have to manage the acute medications versus the preventive medications, so that we stop the headache in its tracks, that’s the best way that I’ve seen to do that.
Transcript Edited for Clarity