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Migraine Therapy by Community Pharmacists in Iraq ? A Survey

Abstract

Muhannad R. M. Salih, Arwa Y. Abd

Pharmacists interact with several headache sufferers’ multiple times a day. Most of these headache sufferers don’t even consult a physician before obtaining medicine from a pharmacist. To assess the knowledge and practice patterns of the pharmacists in Iraq for management of migraine patients. In this crosssectional survey study, a total of 126 pharmacists were surveyed using a validated Pharmacists’ Migraine Survey (PMS) to assess their migraine-related knowledge and management practices. Correlation between pharmacists’ demographic characteristics and their management practices was statistically analyzed using the chi-square test. Around 36.5% and 63.5% pharmacists were community and hospital and community pharmacists, respectively. Most pharmacists felt that migraine patients should try over the counter (OTC) drugs before opting for prescription drugs, that triptans must be given only to the individuals whose condition did not improve after consuming OTC drugs, that they could recognize if any patient needed migraine-preventive medicine, and that they knew when to refer the patients to a physician. Significant correlation was observed between pharmacists asking patients for any headache-related morbidity and their experience level (P=0.03), pharmacist’s gender and the most common reason for which a pharmacist referred a patient to a doctor (P=0.028) and whether triptans must be reserved for patients who showed unfavorable outcome to at least two other prescription drugs (P=0.03), and pharmacists’ working environment and number of referrals per month (P=0.027). Our results showed that a majority of the pharmacists neither knew nor practiced adequate migraine therapies. It is vital to further train pharmacists to ensure adequate management.

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