Prevention, education and information: the role of the community pharmacist in the management of headaches
Headaches are among the most common disorders of the nervous system. On a global level, it is estimated that the prevalence of headache disorder in adults is 47 %. A proper treatment of headaches requires training of health care personnel, careful diagnosis and recognition of the condition, appropriate treatment with cost-effective drugs, simple changements in lifestyle and patient education. Unfortunately, a large number of people suffering from headache disorders are not diagnosed and treated. The unsatisfied needs in migraine can be faced by involving the pharmacist in the management of the pathology. To really understand which are the activities and the potential of community pharmacies in the management of patients with headache or migraine we took into account studies conducted around the world during the last 5 years. Based on the data collected it is clear that the role of the community pharmacist may be crucial in managing patients with headache or migraine but only if he receives an adequate and continuous education both on the management of therapies and maintains a stable relationship with the medical doctor and/or patient. In Piedmont a specific study to identify migraine sufferers has involved the community pharmacies in the administration of a questionnaire, specially crafted by the Italian Headache Foundation (FICEF non-profit association).
KeywordsCommunity pharmacy Counseling Headache Migraine Patient health education
World Health Organization
Over the counter
Conflict of interest
All the authors certify that there is no actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to this article.
- 1.World Health Organization (2012) Atlas of headache disorders and resources in the world 2011. http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/who_atlas_headache_disorders.pdf?ua=1. Accessed Jan 2014
- 9.Santos AP, Mesquita AR, Oliveira KS, Lyra DP Jr (2013) Assessment of community pharmacists’ counseling skills on headache management by using the simulated patient approach: a pilot study. Pharm Pract 11(1):3–7Google Scholar