Behavioral Techniques a Better Value for Chronic Migraine Than Meds: Study

Over time, relaxation training, hypnosis, biofeedback more cost-effective than drugs

FRIDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Behavioral treatments such as relaxation training, hypnosis and biofeedback to help prevent chronic migraine headaches are cost-effective alternatives to prescription drugs, a new study suggests.

Researchers compared the costs of several types of behavioral treatment with preventive prescription drugs. After six months, minimal-contact behavioral treatment was comparable with drug treatment using medicines that cost 50 cents or less per day.

In minimal-contact treatment, a patient sees a therapist a few times a year and for the most part practices the behavioral techniques at home, helped by literature or audio tapes.

After one year, minimal-contact therapy was nearly $500 cheaper than drug treatment.

The study is published in the June issue of the journal Headache.

Initially, the daily cost of prescription drugs taken as a preventive measure by many chronic migraine sufferers may not seem too high, said study co-author Dr. Donald Penzien, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

"But those costs keep adding up with additional doctor visits and more prescriptions. The cost of behavioral treatment is front-loaded. You go to a number of treatment sessions but then that's it. And the benefits last for years," he said in a medical center news release.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about migraine.

Robert Preidt SOURCE: University of Mississippi Medical Center, news release, July 5, 2011

Related Articles

Learn More About Sharp
Sharp HealthCare is San Diego's health care leader with seven hospitals, two medical groups and a health plan. Learn more about our San Diego hospitals, choose a Sharp-affiliated San Diego doctor or browse our comprehensive medical services.

Health News is provided as a service to Sharp Web site users by HealthDay. Sharp HealthCare nor its employees, agents, or contractors, review, control, or take responsibility for the content of these articles. Please read the Terms of Use for more information.