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Migraine Medications


According to The Journal of Headache and Pain, migraine affects at least one in six Americans and 14% of people globally.1 As the third most common disease in the world and the second leading cause of global disability, it is important to understand what migraine is and how the therapeutic class is affecting prescription drug spend.2

What Are The Symptoms of Migraine?

Migraine is a neurological disease with symptoms that vary from person to person. Typically, migraines are moderate or severe head pains that are intense. They may involve pain in one or multiple areas of your head with a throbbing, pounding, or pulsating feeling. Untreated migraine attacks last between 4 and 72 hours and may include nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light, noise, and odors.3 There are several factors that may increase the risk of migraine, but there is no clear causation. A thorough assessment and neurological exam with a medical professional is the typical route for migraine diagnosis.

How Does Migraine Affect Everyday Life?

Migraine disruption can occur while trying to do household tasks, attend school, or spend time with family or friends. Employees may be unable to attend work or perform their responsibilities. A report by the Harvard Business Review states employees with migraine miss an average of 4.4 workdays per year due to migraine attacks. Another 11.4 days per year are spent with reduced productivity. According to an analysis, lost productivity due to migraine may add up to $4,000 annually.4

The Costs of Migraine

Although there are migraine therapies available, few have been developed specifically for the condition. Calcitonin gene-related peptide antagonists (CGRP) are a newer drug class for the prevention of migraine headaches in adults. There are currently five FDA-approved CGRP inhibitors with a yearly price tag ranging from $7,000 to $13,000, without factoring in potential discounts and rebates. Other therapies commonly used for migraine include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, triptans, which block pain to the brain, and ergotamines, which relieve migraine or headaches. Across the United States, migraine costs are estimated to be $78 billion annually.4

Migraine Management

With an estimated 15.6% compound annual growth rate in market value from 2021 to 2030, migraine education and management are important to health and financial well-being.5 Preventive therapy can help decrease the severity, frequency, and duration of migraine and reduce the risk of financial burden from future therapies. Informational packets, online resources, and medical professionals raise awareness and help identify migraine triggers, analyze symptoms, and find relevant treatment options. If you believe you have migraine symptoms, please contact your doctor.


  1. Nguyen, J. L., Munshi, K., Peasah, S. K., Swart, E. C. S., Kohli, M., Henderson, R., & Good, C. B. (2022, August 28). Trends in utilization and costs of migraine medications, 2017–2020 – the journal of headache and pain. BioMed Central.
  2. Migraine Resources & Support. American Migraine Foundation. (2023, July 12).
  3. S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Migraine. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
  4. Costs of migraines: Migraine pain. Migraine Relief Center. (2018, May 16).
  5. (2022, July 26). Migraine drugs market is expected to witness rapid growth in coming years. BioSpace.


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