Migraine in America: Treatments by the Numbers

These numbers will come as no surprise to anyone with migraine who has faced the frustration of feeling like they’ve “tried everything.”

6 prescription products

Were used by 50% of respondents for their migraines at some point during their treatment journey.

5,726 migraine patients

Completed the online Migraine in America 2014 survey, which gathered about their symptoms and diagnosis journey, as well as their quality of life and treatment experience.

Migraine Treatments by the Numbers

66% of those surveyed

Had two or more prescription products on hand for treating their migraines. 23% of individuals currently have 4 or more prescription products.

For those diagnosed with chronic migraine, 30% of respondents had 4 or more prescription products on hand.

44% of those surveyed

Use 2 or more prescription products for migraine prevention.

58% of individuals

Use over-the-counter pain (OTC) medicine 1/2 the time.

Migraine Treatments by the Numbers

31% of respondents

Were satisfied with their prescription and non-prescription treatments, demonstrating that these migraine treatments are not meeting these individuals’ needs or reducing their symptoms.

75% of those surveyed

Have either avoided or stopped using a migraine medicine due to side effects.

Most common side effects cited by individuals include cognitive challenges (47%) and rebound headaches (39%).

Migraine Treatments by the Numbers

Up to $100

Is spent out of pocket per month for migraine medication and care by more than half of individuals.


Have avoided medication due to cost.

72% of those surveyed

Have withheld from taking their medication at some point, in order to spare or save it for another time; this is often due to treatment cost or prescription insurance limitations.


Non-prescription therapies were tried by 99% of individuals (on average) to treat their migraines at some point. The most commonly tried therapies include a dark room (92%) and hot/cold therapy (79%).

24% satisfaction

Of current users were satisfied With non-prescription therapies. On average, individuals currently use 3.6 non-prescription therapies, with dark room and hot/cold therapy continuing to be the most common utilized.

Migraine Treatments by the Numbers

26% of those surveyed

Have used a drug not prescribed to them, 8% have used an illicit drug and 14% have used marijuana.

Since individuals not finding relief from prescription medication, OTC medication, or non-prescription therapies, in hopes of treating their migraines, individuals have also resorted to non-conventional and illegal drugs. 

It’s clear that the available migraine medications and treatments still leave much to be desired for a majority of people with migraine. Adding to frustration is the fact that treatment effectiveness will often wane over time, resulting in what can seem like the never-ending (and costly!) search for the “right” regimen.

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