From COVID to Migraines, FDA Cleared Device Provides Non-Drug Safe Pain Relief
Persistent migraines and cluster headaches disrupt the lives, careers, and families of many people who struggle to find relief from debilitating pain. Migraine is one of the world’s most common health conditions, affects roughly 39 million people in the United States, making it the sixth most prevalent illness in the world according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease study. In addition, recent studies on symptoms of “long-haul” Covid-19 states that migraine is a common long-term effect of the illness.
In addition, the latest research on signs of “long-haul” Covid-19 states that migraine is a not unusual place long-time period impact of the infection. Common signs of migraines encompass a throbbing ache or pulsing sensation on one aspect of the head, frequently followed with the aid of using nausea, vomiting, and severe sensitivity to mild and sound, in keeping with the Mayo Clinic. Medications can offer a few alleviations, however, many include aspect results that may be as horrific because of the complications themselves, and invasive methods convey extra dangers for complicationsFew powerful alternatives are to be had for migraine and cluster headache sufferers. Some sufferers attempt non-conventional healing procedures consisting of biofeedback, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, and natural remedies, however, the achievement is limited, in keeping with research.
However, proof shows that stimulation of the vagus nerve, a huge nerve that facilitates the frame alter ache, can offer alleviation from migraines and cluster complications. The advantages of vagus nerve stimulation are mainly awesome for populations searching for safe, simple, drug-unfastened treatments, consisting of teenagers and veterans.
Over time, we’ve discovered approximately the extremely good strength of the vagus nerve,” says Peter Staats, MD, leader clinical officer on the National Spine and Pain Centers and leader clinical officer of electroCore, the makers of the gammaCore tool.”We finished a technical leap forward in 2010 while we advanced the cap potential to manage vagus nerve stimulation non-invasively with the aid of using turning in a proprietary sign thru the pores and skin to both the proper or the left branches of the vagus nerve withinside the neck,” he says. Kerrie Smyres started the use of gammaCore in June 2016. With it, she went from getting a migraine assault each time she ate to being capable of devouring something she desired without an assault. “I changed into additionally capable of move from slightly running to running full-time and had been capable of forestall taking all my preventive migraine medicinal drugs and infrequently use abortive medicinal drugs.”The gammaCore Sapphire™is a handheld, non-invasive tool that makes use of mild electric stimulation to spark off the vagus nerve.
The tool, which has been cleared with the aid of using the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the remedy and prevention of migraines and cluster complications, is to be had with a doctor’s prescription. Using the tool is a simple, three-step technique that sufferers can do at domestic or at the move. First, discover the spot to your neck close to your pulse to spark off the vagus nerve.
Next, practice the accompanying gel to the stimulation surfaces, flip it on, and area it at the neck. Finally, regulate the depth to a cushy level, preserving in the area for a 2-minute stimulation. For greater details, please go to gammaCore.com. A Headache Discussion Guide can be beneficial to proportion together along with your healthcare provider.gammaCore Sapphire (nVNS) is indicated to be used in person sufferers for the preventive remedy of cluster headache, the intense remedy of ache related to episodic cluster headache, and the intense and preventive remedy of migraine in adolescents (age 12 and older) and person sufferers. Important Safety Information.
Important Safety Information
- The effectiveness of gammaCore has not been established in the acute treatment of chronic cluster headache
- gammaCore is contraindicated for patients if they:
- Have an active implantable medical device, such as a pacemaker, hearing aid implant, or any implanted electronic device
- Have a metallic device, such as a stent, bone plate, or bone screw, implanted at or near the neck
- Are using another device at the same time (e.g., TENS Unit, muscle stimulator) or any portable electronic device (e.g., mobile phone)
- Safety and efficacy of gammaCore have not been evaluated in the following patients:
- Patients diagnosed with narrowing of the arteries (carotid atherosclerosis)
- Patients who have had surgery to cut the vagus nerve in the neck (cervical vagotomy)
- Pediatric patients (younger than 12 years)
- Pregnant women
- Patients with clinically significant hypertension, hypotension, bradycardia, or tachycardia.
Migraine treatment involves acute (abortive) and preventive (prophylactic) therapy. Patients with frequent attacks usually require both. Measures directed toward reducing migraine triggers are also generally advisable.
Acute treatment aims to reverse, or at least stop, the progression of a headache that has started. Preventive treatment, which is given even in the absence of a headache, aims to reduce the frequency and severity of the migraine attack, make acute attacks more responsive to abortive therapy, and perhaps also improve the patient’s quality of life.
If you have migraines or a family history of migraines, a doctor trained in treating headaches (neurologist) will likely diagnose migraines based on your medical history, symptoms, and a physical and neurological examination.
If your condition is unusual, complex or suddenly becomes severe, tests to rule out other causes for your pain might include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI scan uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of the brain and blood vessels. MRI scans help doctors diagnose tumors, strokes, bleeding in the brain, infections, and other brain and nervous system (neurological) conditions.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to create detailed cross-sectional images of the brain. This helps doctors diagnose tumors, infections, brain damage, bleeding in the brain and other possible medical problems that may be causing headaches.
Migraine treatment is aimed at stopping symptoms and preventing future attacks.
Many medications have been designed to treat migraines. Medications used to combat migraines fall into two broad categories:
- Pain-relieving medications. Also known as an acute or abortive treatment, these types of drugs are taken during migraine attacks and are designed to stop symptoms.
- Preventive medications. These types of drugs are taken regularly, often daily, to reduce the severity or frequency of migraines.
Your treatment choices depend on the frequency and severity of your headaches, whether you have nausea and vomiting with your headaches, how disabling your headaches are, and other medical conditions you have.
Medications for relief
Medications used to relieve migraine pain works best when taken at the first sign of an oncoming migraine — as soon as signs and symptoms of a migraine begin. Medications that can be used to treat it include:
- Pain relievers. These over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers include aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others). When taken too long, these might cause medication-overuse headaches, and possibly ulcers, and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
Migraine relief medications that combine caffeine, aspirin, and acetaminophen (Excedrin Migraine) may be helpful, but usually only against mild migraine pain.
- Triptans. Prescription drugs such as sumatriptan (Imitrex, Tosymra) and rizatriptan (Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT) are used to treat migraines because they block pain pathways in the brain. Taken as pills, shots or nasal sprays, they can relieve many symptoms of migraine. They might not be safe for those at risk of a stroke or heart attack.
- Dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal). Available as a nasal spray or injection, this drug is most effective when taken shortly after the start of migraine symptoms for migraines that tend to last longer than 24 hours. Side effects can include worsening of migraine-related vomiting and nausea.
People with coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, or kidney or liver disease should avoid dihydroergotamine.
- Lasmiditan (Review). This newer oral tablet is approved for the treatment of migraines with or without aura. In drug trials, lasmiditan significantly improved headache pain. Lasmiditan can have a sedative effect and cause dizziness, so people taking it are advised not to drive or operate machinery for at least eight hours.
- Ubrogepant (Ubrelvy). This oral calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonist is approved for the treatment of acute migraines with or without aura in adults. It’s the first drug of this type approved for migraine treatment. In drug trials, ubrogepant was more effective than placebo in relieving pain and other migraine symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound two hours after taking it. Common side effects include dry mouth, nausea, and excessive sleepiness. Ubrogepant should not be taken with strong CYP3A4 inhibitor drugs.
- CGRP antagonists. Ubrogepant (Ubrelvy) and rimegepant (Nurtec ODT) are oral CGRP antagonists recently approved for the treatment of acute migraine with or without aura in adults. In drug trials, drugs from this class were more effective than placebo in relieving pain and other migraine symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound two hours after taking it. Common side effects include dry mouth, nausea, and excessive sleepiness. Ubrogepant and rimegepant should not be taken with strong CYP3A4 inhibitor drugs.
- Opioid medications. For people who can’t take other migraine medications, narcotic opioid medications might help. Because they can be highly addictive, these are usually used only if no other treatments are effective.
- Anti-nausea drugs. These can help if your migraine with aura is accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Anti-nausea drugs include chlorpromazine, metoclopramide (Reglan) or prochlorperazine (Compro). These are usually taken with pain medications.
Some of these medications are not safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, don’t use any of these medications without first talking with your doctor.
Medications can help prevent frequent migraines. Your doctor might recommend preventive medications if you have frequent, long-lasting or severe headaches that don’t respond well to treatment.
Preventive medication is aimed at reducing how often you get a migraine, how severe the attacks are, and how long they last. Options include:
- Blood pressure-lowering medications. These include beta-blockers such as propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran XL, others) and metoprolol tartrate (Lopressor). Calcium channel blockers such as verapamil (Verelan) can be helpful in preventing migraines with aura.
- Antidepressants. A tricyclic antidepressant (amitriptyline) can prevent migraines. Because of the side effects of amitriptyline, such as sleepiness, other antidepressants might be prescribed instead.
- Anti-seizure drugs. Valproate and topiramate (Topamax, Qudexy XR, others) might help if you have less frequent migraines, but can cause side effects such as dizziness, weight changes, nausea and more. These medications are not recommended for pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant.
- Botox injections. Injections of onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) about every 12 weeks help prevent migraines in some adults.
- CGRP monoclonal antibodies. Erenumab-aooe (Aimovig), fremanezumab-vfrm (Ajovy), galcanezumab-gnlm (Emgality), and eptinezumab-jjmr (Vyepti) are newer drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat migraines. They’re given monthly or quarterly by injection. The most common side effect is a reaction at the injection site.
Ask your doctor if these medications are right for you. Some of these medications are not safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, don’t use any of these medications without first talking with your doctor.