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Publication Date


Publication Title

The Journal of Headache and Pain


Geisel School of Medicine


Background: The most commonly prescribed medications used to treat migraine acutely are single analgesics, ergots, opioids, and triptans. Due to varying mechanisms of action across drug classes, there is reason to believe that some classes may be less likely than others to elicit Medication Overuse Headache (MOH) than others. We therefore aimed to determine whether certain classes of acute migraine drugs are more likely to elicit MOH than others.

Methods: A comprehensive systematic literature was conducted to identify studies of varying designs that reported on MOH within the considered treatment classes. Only studies that reported MOH according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD) were considered. Since no causal comparative design studies were identified; data from prevalence studies and surveys were retrieved. Prevalence-based relative risks between treatment classes were calculated by integrating both medication overuse and medication use from published studies. For each pair wise comparison, pooled relative risks were calculated as the inverse variance weighted average.