Impact and Burden of Episodic, Acute Migraine (I-BEAM): A Patient Experience Study

Poster presented at the International Headache Congress (IHC) 2019 in Dublin, Ireland.

Authors: Stephen B. Shrewsbury, Sutapa Ray


The objectives of this patient survey were to better understand: 1) the experiences of episodic migraineurs and the effect of migraine on daily life; 2) the typical pathway and barriers to diagnosis and treatment; and 3) satisfaction levels with current treatments and to identify unmet needs.


Participants were recruited via social media and referrals. A preliminary 15-minute online survey was conducted with current migraine sufferers to determine history, past and current treatments, and overall experience with migraine treatments. One hour individual-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with respondents in three major U.S. cities, and 1-hour web-enabled telephone-depth interviews (TDIs) were conducted with others throughout the United States.


Of study participants (n=50), 75% were female, 64% were aged 30-49 years, and 56% suffered from 3-5 migraines or 4-8 migraine-days a month. The two most common types of migraines reported were rapid-onset migraine (34%) and early morning migraines (30%). Although 96% took a prescription medication for migraines, only 30% were satisfied with their medication. Incomplete, unreliable and short lasting relief were cited as the biggest problems. Lack of speed to onset of effect was also a point of dissatisfaction with >50% reporting inability to resume normal activities within 4 hours after medicating. Up to 68% reported headache relief lasting less than 12 hours and pain returning or worsening afterwards. Further, 30% respondents had to seek emergency migraine care in the past year despite access to standard of care. Thus, the social, societal and economic burden of episodic migraine significantly impacts the daily lives and livelihoods of patients with migraine.


This study further demonstrates the unmet needs of current episodic migraineurs. Patients described their ideal medication to be: (1) fast acting (15-30 mins) (2) long-lasting (12-24h) (3) providing complete or near complete relief (4) can be taken any time during the migraine and (5) with few or no side effects. Many are willing to accept minor side effects as a tradeoff for increased speed and efficacy. A product is being developed by Impel NeuroPharma to address all 5 of these requirements.


Shrewsbury SB and Ray, Impact and Burden of Episodic, Acute Migraine (I-BEAM): A Patient Experience Study, IHC 2019 Abstracts. (2019). Cephalalgia, 39(1_suppl), 124-125.