Sumatriptan treatment for migraine in a health maintenance organization: Economic, humanistic, and clinical outcomes

Jeffrey A. Cohen, Donna Beall, Arne Beck, Julia Rawlings, David W. Miller, Bill Clements, D. Gayla Pait, Alice Batenhorst

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50 Scopus citations


This study was undertaken to assess the impact of 12 months of sumatriptan therapy (6 mg subcutaneously) for migraine on health care use, health-related quality of life, productivity, patient satisfaction with the medication, and clinical efficacy in a health maintenance organization (HMO). One hundred forty-eight patients received open-label sumatriptan for 12 months for the treatment of migraine. Medical records were reviewed to obtain information on the frequency of migraine-related health care use during the 12 months before and during sumatriptan treatment. Patients completed questionnaires on their productivity at work, health-related quality of life, and satisfaction with medication at baseline and after 3, 6, and 12 months of sumatriptan treatment. For each migraine, patients recorded pain severity scores before and after taking sumatriptan and the time between dosing and onset of meaningful relief. Sumatriptan was associated with significant reductions in migraine-related use of general outpatient services, telephone calls, urgent care services, and emergency department visits (P < 0.05); a significant increase in the use of pharmacy services (P < 0.05); and significant and sustained improvements in health-related quality-of-life scores compared with baseline (P < 0.001). Patients lost significantly less time from work and were significantly more satisfied with sumatriptan compared with their usual therapy (P < 0.05). Two hours after dosing, 81% of patients experienced reduction of moderate or severe pain to mild or no pain, and 90% of all patients experienced meaningful relief of pain. The use of sumatriptan for 12 months in an HMO was associated with reductions in health care use and improved health-related quality of life, productivity, and patient satisfaction with medication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-204
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • HMO
  • Health care use
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Migraine
  • Sumatriptan


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