June 24th, 2020

// COVID-19 is Hurting Chronic Migraine Care in Canada

COVID-19 is Hurting Chronic Migraine Care in Canada

June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

TORONTO, June 23, 2020 /CNW/ - Like most chronic conditions, COVID-19 is having an incredible impact on patients living with chronic migraines (CM). Allergan, an AbbVie Company, is proudly supporting National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month encouraging patients and caregivers to share their experiences with #MoreThanAMigraine to encourage dialogue and awareness surrounding chronic migraines, migraines and headaches. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has been a particularly vulnerable time for individuals with chronic migraines, with many physical and mental stressors, increased anxiety, and changes in daily routine that have served as triggering factors for worsening symptoms. This, combined with limited access to their headache specialists, has resulted in trying times for this patient population to manage their condition," said Dr. Ian Finkelstein, Medical Director at the Toronto Headache & Pain Clinic. "Chronic migraine patients 'walk a tight line' when it comes to managing their symptoms, and COVID-19 has been an impetus in derailing many otherwise well controlled patients. Better diagnosis, management and education surrounding this disabling condition is of paramount importance."

The Difference Between Migraines and Other Types of Headaches
Migraines are more severe and debilitating than other types of headaches, and impact over 2.7 million Canadians.1 They consist of moderately to severely intense headaches with throbbing or pulsating pain and are often on one side of the head.2Other debilitating symptoms include nausea; vomiting; and hypersensitivity to lights, sounds and smells.3

#MoreThanAMigraine
Throughout June, Allergan is encouraging migraine sufferers to break their silence in hopes to spread awareness on the condition, to highlight the symptoms, and qualify disease impact. Patients and caregivers can share their experiences online using #MoreThanAMigraine. A patient self-assessment, triggers and treatment options can be accessed via mychronicmigraine.ca. The site also features a search tool that allows Canadians to find a doctor in their area who may be able to help. Migraine sufferers should speak to their healthcare providers about their quality of life and symptom impact.

Throbbing Statistics 

  • It is estimated that between 370,000- 600,000 adult Canadians, 18 years or older, suffer from CM.4
  • Over 80 per cent of CM sufferers in Canada are women.5
  • It has been estimated that just 20.2 per cent of CM sufferers receive a CM diagnosis, and only 33.3 per cent of CM patients use preventive medication.6
  • Patients with CM are more likely to miss days of work, school, household work, become occupationally disabled and experience lower levels of household income.7,8
  • Patients with CM are nearly twice as likely to be affected by depression or anxiety when compared to episodic migraines.9
  • Patients with CM are more likely to receive opioid medications than those with episodic migraines.10,11

About AbbVie 
AbbVie's mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people's lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women's health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube and LinkedIn.

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1Statistics Canada. Prevalence of migraine in the Canadian household population. Accessed May 2018:  https://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2014006/article/14033-eng.htm 
2Natoli JL et al. Global Prevalence of Chronic Migraine: A Systematic Review. Cephalalgia. 2010 May;30 (5):599-609..
3Natoli JL et al. Global Prevalence of Chronic Migraine: A Systematic Review. Cephalalgia. 2010 May;30 (5):599-609.
4Natoli JL et al. Global Prevalence of Chronic Migraine: A Systematic Review. Cephalalgia. 2010 May;30 (5):599-609.
5Stokes M. et al. "Cost of health care among patients with chronic and episodic migraine in Canada and the USA: results from the International Burden of Migraine Study (IBMS)." American Headache Society. 2011 May: 1065. 
6Bigal ME, Serrano D, Reed M, Lipton RB. Chronic migraine in the population: Burden, diagnosis, and satisfaction with treatment. Neurology. 2008;71:559-566. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000323925.29520.e7.
7Buse DC, Manack A, Serrano D, Turkel C, Lipton RB. Sociodemographic and comorbidity profiles of chronic migraine and episodic migraine sufferers. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2010;81(4):428-432. doi:10.1136/jnnp.2009.192492.
8Bigal ME, Serrano D, Reed M, Lipton RB. Chronic migraine in the population: Burden, diagnosis, and satisfaction with treatment. Neurology. 2008;71:559-566. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000323925.29520.e7.
9Buse DC, Manack A, Serrano D, Turkel C, Lipton RB. Sociodemographic and comorbidity profiles of chronic migraine and episodic migraine sufferers. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2010;81(4):428-432. doi:10.1136/jnnp.2009.192492.
10Bigal ME, Serrano D, Reed M, Lipton RB. Chronic migraine in the population: Burden, diagnosis, and satisfaction with treatment. Neurology. 2008;71:559-566. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000323925.29520.e7.
11Pavlovic J, Yu J, Silberstein S, et al. Migraine Treatment Patterns and Opioid Use Among Chronic and Episodic Migraine Patients Identified by a Clinician-Administered Semi-Structured Diagnostic Interview (S32.001). Neurology. 2018;90(15 Supplement):S32.001. http://n.neurology.org/content/90/15_Supplement/S32.001. Accessed June 1, 2018.

SOURCE Allergan, an AbbVie Company

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