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 RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Although people who have never suffered from migraine may mistakenly perceive it as "just a bad headache," a new survey of migraine sufferers indicates it is far more serious than that and that 70 percent of people surveyed who suffer from the disease believe that migraine brings their lives to a standstill.
 The nationwide survey, which consisted of phone interviews with a nationally projectable sample of 1,007 migraine sufferers, was conducted by The Gallup Organization for Cerenex Pharmaceuticals, a division of Glaxo Inc. To qualify for inclusion, individuals were screened using International Headache Society screening criteria. The survey illustrates the severe pain that migraineurs suffer during an attack. The pain of migraine is so excruciating that 35 percent of respondents say they have wished they were dead during an attack. In addition, a significant number of sufferers rated migraine as being more painful than a number of other conditions, including childbirth (19 percent), a broken bone (28 percent), arthritis (33 percent), athletic injuries (42 percent) and a bad burn (42 percent).
 The survey also showed that 93 percent of migraine sufferers have used over-the-counter (OTC) or non prescription pain relievers to treat their migraine. Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents who take OTC medications report that these non prescription pain relievers are not successful in relieving the pain of migraine. In addition, nearly half (49 percent) of all these OTC users say they take more of these OTC pain relievers than recommended.
 Migraine is a severe, debilitating disease that is not well understood and is often undiagnosed or confused with other types of headache conditions. According to current estimates, more than 11 million Americans suffer from migraine with moderate to severe disability. Migraine is usually characterized by a recurrent pain on one side of the head and is usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks generally last from four to 72 hours.
 The survey reveals issues that migraine sufferers (or "migraineurs") face and demonstrates the significant impact that the disease has on their lifestyles, careers and personal lives.
 Effect of Migraine on Lifestyle
 Survey respondents indicate that migraine has a profound impact on their lives. Approximately 57 percent of respondents say that migraine makes them feel "out of control." In addition, substantial numbers of migraine sufferers say that a number of their daily activities are limited or impaired due to migraine. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) reported impairment of at least one type of activity, of these everyday activities, approximately half said that leisure activities (49 percent) and socializing (50 percent) were affected and 45 percent said that driving was limited or impaired.
 Migraine, while it is not a psychological disorder, can have a psychological impact on the sufferer. Fifty-eight percent of respondents claim that migraine has reduced their ability to enjoy life, and approximately half have feelings of anxiety (54 percent) and helplessness (48 percent). Forty-one percent say they experience depression with their migraine.
 And migraine affects more than the sufferer -- 72 percent of those questioned say that migraine has hurt their ability to take care of family and personal responsibilities in some way, and 64 percent of migraineurs believe that migraine has a negative effect on family or others around them.
 "Migraine often impacts the entire family," says Dr. Margaret Abernathy, director, Headache Treatment Center at Georgetown University Medical Center. "If sufferers are not seeking proper help to manage migraine, they often find themselves retreating to a dark room for the duration of the attack. This obviously has an effect on the sufferers ability to function normally in family and social situations."
 Impact on Career and Work Life
 In addition to affecting the migraineur's personal life, migraine also can have a significant impact on the professional life of the sufferer. The Gallup survey results illustrate the extent to which sufferers believe migraine impacts their careers. Eighty-two percent say that a migraine has kept them from doing their work as well as they usually would on an average of nearly 12 days in the past year. Thirty percent of respondents say that migraine has hurt their career progress or earnings to a degree.
 Migraine was found to be a frequent cause of employee absenteeism -- survey respondents reported missing work due to migraine an average of nearly five days in the past year. However, some sufferers are reluctant to tell their employers that migraine is causing the absence. A third (33 percent) of respondents who missed work due to migraine say that they do not mention migraine when they call in sick.
 "There is, unfortunately, a good deal of misunderstanding that still exists about migraine, especially in the workplace," says Dr. Abernathy. "Many migraineurs are afraid that their supervisors still think of migraine as 'just another headache,' and that they view migraine sufferers as malingerers. Therefore, they are hesitant about telling their employers about their condition when they call in sick."
 Perceptions of Family and Friends
 In addition to finding skepticism at work about their condition, the survey showed that approximately half (49 percent) of respondents feel that their friends and family also do not understand how serious and painful migraine is. Forty-one percent avoid telling their friends when they are having a migraine, and approximately one third avoid telling family (33 percent) or co-workers (36 percent) when they are having an attack.
 One reason that some migraineurs do not tell other people about their migraine is because of the way they believe other people will respond. Nearly a third (31 percent) say friends, family or coworkers have been resentful when they were incapacitated due to migraine. Further, 26 percent of respondents say that friends, family or coworkers have not believed them when they said they couldn't do something because of a migraine.
 Managing Migraine Effectively
 Although the survey showed that two thirds (66 percent) of respondents usually just suffer in silence when they get a migraine, and continue to be debilitated by the condition, there are steps they can take that may help them to better manage migraine.
 According to Dr. Abernathy, "The first and most important step is to see a doctor about your migraine. Find one you are comfortable with -- it is important to have open, two-way communication with your doctor. By working together, you can establish an effective treatment plan that will help you manage your migraine. My best advice to migraineurs is not to suffer in silence. Seek help."
 Glaxo Inc. researches, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines, including those for the treatment of gastrointestinal, respiratory, central nervous system and cardiovascular diseases, and infections, as well as diseases of the skin. It is a subsidiary of London-based Glaxo Holdings p.l.c.
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 /CONTACT: Kate Bacon or Laura Landman of Porter/Novelli, 212-315-8000/

CO: Cerenex Pharmaceuticals; Glaxo Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: MTC SU:

CB-WB -- NY001 -- 1270 01/12/94 08:16 EST
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Date:Jan 12, 1994

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