Objective.-To assess the degree of debilitation and the treatment views of individuals with headache presenting to a community pharmacy. Background.-Migraine and chronic daily headache are common poorly managed illnesses. Pharmacists recommend an over-the-counter "headache product" to customers more than 53 000 times daily, thus they are well positioned to help those with headache. Design.-Pilot project of 22 self-administered surveys of individuals presenting to a community pharmacy with a complaint of headache. Results.-Thirteen persons had Migraine Disability Assessment scores of grade III or grade IV. Of the sample population, a substantial minority (41%) did not believe their headaches could be effectively managed with over-the-counter medications, 72% did not feel over-the-counter agents were safer than prescription products, 96% did not indicate that over-the-counter drugs were more effective than prescription drugs, and 50% disagreed that a physician's evaluation was not necessary. Only half of the population was satisfied with their current therapy, and individuals overwhelmingly (91%) wished they could prevent their headaches. Conclusion.-The majority of individuals with headache presenting to a community pharmacy had high levels of morbidity and were in need of education regarding the proper role of over-the-counter medications, the advantages of prescription agents, and the benefits of a physician's referral. These preliminary results indicate that community pharmacies are potentially important locations for identification, education, and referral of individuals with headache.
- Over-the-counter drugs