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Migraine Survey Reveals Major Impacts On Family

Migraine Survey Reveals Major Impacts on Children and Partners

The recent MAXALT™ Migraine Survey revealed migraines not only affected the sufferer but also had significant implications for partners, children and extended family, and often lead to depression

While it is commonly acknowledged that migraines cause pain and impact heavily on the sufferer, 61% of respondents to the MAXALT Migraine Survey said their migraines made life difficult for their families, with family members having to take over responsibilities around the home and attend social occasions alone.

One respondent revealed "My children can't rely on me, because I have cancelled so many activities and outings and my partner has to do more work around the house." Another said, "Migraines caused my now ex-husband to resent me immensely. It took many years for my husband to realise that I could not help having migraines. I think it contributed to my marriage breakdown."

Migraine Sufferers Support Group Founder, Annette Hallam, says "Migraines have a significant impact on family life with partners and children often finding it difficult to watch their family member suffering, and to fully understand how debilitating migraines can be. It is therefore important that there is a good network of family and friends who understand and can offer physical help and support."

Respondents cited missing Christmases, family weddings, funerals, family holidays, and significant birthdays because of migraines, with nearly a quarter reporting having missed family or social occasions once a month or more often.

Just over 50% of respondents said they had experienced depression as a result of their migraines and in some cases it had lead to sufferers contemplating suicide.

The majority of migraine sufferers surveyed 68%, have had to take time off work with 32% having taken time off work once a month or more often as a result of their migraines. In addition, 23% reported changing to a less stressful job to help avoid stress induced migraines and some said migraines had limited their career progression.

The most common risk faced by migraine sufferers was driving while suffering a migraine. This was reported by 90% of respondents. They cited driving with impaired vision, partial vision or with children in the car. One respondent said "I have driven to collect my children from school with dark glasses on and a bucket between my knees." Another said "If I'm driving home with a migraine I can't recount my journey the next day."

Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSDNZ) Managing Director, Alister Brown, says “It is estimated that 10% of New Zealanders suffer from migraine and as the MAXALT Migraine Survey demonstrates, migraine attacks have a significant negative effect on the physical, emotional, and social aspects of daily life for many New Zealanders.

"Fortunately PHARMAC recognises the need for effective treatments and has recently funded Merck Sharp & Dohme's MAXALT MLT.”


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