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Work loss and triptans


Clinical bottom line

When work and productivity loss information was collected during a randomised trial of rizatriptan 10 mg versus placebo, triptan use was associated with fewer lost hours of pain and productive work.


EJ Dasback et al. Work and productivity loss in the rizatriptan multiple attack study. Cephalalgia 2000 20: 830-834.


Men and women aged 18-65 years with IHS migraine for at least six months enrolled in a randomised multicentre trial comparing rizatriptan 10 mg and placebo; most people recieved rizatriptan for at least three of four migraine attacks, and one group received only rizatriptan.

Those in paid employment during a headache answered questionnaires about hours missed because of migraine, hours worked with symptoms and their effectiveness with symptoms, using simple scales.


There were 407 patients with 1365 headaches, and 63% of patients were in paid emplyment. With rizatriptan, the impact of the migraine on work was less (those in bold were ststistically significant):


The bottom line was that compared with placebo, rizatriptan resulted in 1.1 fewer work hours lost to a migraine attack. This may not sound much, but the average UK hourly wage in 2001 was about £12 per hour. That's about three times the cost of a tablet to the NHS.