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Improving Medication Adherence in Migraine Treatment

  • Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Headache and Pain (D Buse, Section Editor)
  • Published:
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Medication adherence is integral to successful treatment of migraine and other headache. The existing literature examining medication adherence in migraine is small, and the methodologies used to assess adherence are limited. However, these studies broadly suggest poor adherence to both acute and preventive migraine medications, with studies using more objective monitoring reporting lower adherence rates. Methods for improving medication adherence are described, including organizational strategies, provider-monitoring and self-monitoring of adherence, regimen strategies, patient education, self-management skills training (e.g., stimulus control, behavioral contracts), and cognitive–behavioral therapy techniques. The article concludes by discussing the future of research regarding adherence to medications for migraine and other headaches.

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Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Elizabeth K. Seng is a consultant for Mercy Hospital Systems, received honoraria from Headache Cooperative of New England, and had travel/accommodations expenses covered or reimbursed by International Headache Academy (2014).

Jeanetta A. Rains reports National Institute of Health R21, Sleep Regulation and Circadian Phase in Chronic Migraine Position: Consultant. (Principal investigator: Jason Ong, PhD, Rush University) (2013–2015).

Robert A. Nicholson has no disclosures at this time.

Richard B. Lipton receives research support from the NIH: PO1 AG003949 (Program Director), PO1AG027734 (Project Leader), RO1AG025119 (Investigator), RO1AG022374-06A2 (Investigator), RO1AG034119 (Investigator), RO1AG12101 (Investigator), K23AG030857 (Mentor), K23NS05140901A1 (Mentor), and K23NS47256 (Mentor), the National Headache Foundation, and the Migraine Research Fund; serves on the editorial boards of Neurology and Cephalalgia and as senior advisor to Headache, has reviewed for the NIA and NINDS, holds stock options in eNeura Therapeutics (a company without commercial products); serves as consultant, advisory board member, or has received honoraria from: Alder, Allergan, American Headache Society, Autonomic Technologies, Avanir, Boston Scientific, Bristol Myers Squibb, Colucid, Dr. Reddy’s, Electrocore, Eli Lilly, Endo, eNeura Therapeutics, Informa, Labrys, Merck, Novartis, Teva, Vedanta.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Elizabeth K. Seng.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Headache and Pain

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Seng, E.K., Rains, J.A., Nicholson, R.A. et al. Improving Medication Adherence in Migraine Treatment. Curr Pain Headache Rep 19, 24 (2015).

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