Day-hospital withdrawal for chronic migraine with medication overuse: Results at 3 years follow-up


Patients with chronic headache and medication overuse are particularly difficult to treat, with no one approach being universally accepted. Some type of withdrawal program, however, is typically implemented before beginning a pharmacological prophylaxis treatment. Different withdrawal modalities have been performed for managing these patients: at first step, in-patient withdrawal has been confirmed effective in preceding clinical experiences. In recent years, new modalities for withdrawal have been developed as day-hospital setting. Purpose of this study was to determine the clinical course of a sample of chronic migraine patients with medication overuse 3 years after day-hospital withdrawal. A group of 202 patients were treated. Patients were suffering from chronic migraine with medication overuse according with IHS criteria. All patients were submitted to a day-hospital withdrawal and then they were followed with meetings every 3 months until the first year and then every 6 months until the last follow-up 3 years after withdrawal. Eighty patients achieved the last follow-up meeting 3 years after withdrawal. Patients clinically improved, significantly, both for days of headache per month and consumption of medications per month. From these results, the day-hospital setting for withdrawal, followed by periodic clinical meetings, seems to be effective for this category of patients to improve significantly at long-term headache frequency and analgesics intake. © European Union 2013.

Publication Title

Neurological Sciences