A pioneering migraine treatment brings relief and hope to patients worldwide, heralding a new era in migraine management.
Individuals who have experienced migraines will readily admit that they are not your typical headaches. They come as a result of complex and often debilitating neurological conditions. People affected by migraines cannot go about their daily routines because of the severe pain they experience. According to the Mayo Clinic, a migraine is a type of headache where individuals experience pain and throbbing on the side of their head. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and a heightened sensitivity to both light and sound. The duration of migraine attacks can range from hours to even days, with pain levels often preventing individuals from doing their daily tasks.
Some individuals experience a precursor symptom commonly referred to as an "aura" that can manifest either before or alongside the headache. Signs include light flashes or blind spots, as well as other sensations such as a tingling on the face or an extremity and difficulty in speech. Thankfully, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved a treatment for acute cases of migraine.
The organization revealed that the medicine, named Rimegepant, would tackle the issue of having a lack of treatment options in dealing with acute migraines. The drug, alternatively known as Vydura, will be made by pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer. It will be administered to adults who have already ingested two triptans, a common medication for headaches or migraines, but were discovered not to be effective. The medicine can also be given to those who are unable to take triptans or otherwise have developed an intolerance towards the drug.
In addition, patients who have taken nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs or paracetamol can take the medicine. Helen Knight, director of medicines evaluations at NICE, spoke to Independent UK, saying, "Migraine is a condition described in comments to Nice from carers and people with migraine as an invisible disability that affects all aspects of life including work, education, finances, mental health, social activities and family."
She stated how the final draft guidance would take into account the urgent need for effective treatment options for acute migraines in a cost-effective manner. Rimegepant is administered as a dissolvable wafer placed under the tongue. Its mechanism of action involves inhibiting the release of a protein called calcitonin gene-related peptide around the brain.
The medicine was initially recommended in July as a viable choice for adults with episodic migraines, defined as those experiencing between four and fewer than 15 monthly attacks. This recommendation was used when at least three other treatments did not yield a positive result. According to the latest use case, the medicine will be used to alleviate symptoms that accompany migraines, such as pain, nausea and sensitivity to light.
Knight further mentioned, "This is the first and only Nice-recommended medicine that can help alleviate the misery of acute migraines and may be considered a step-change in treatment." Robert Music, who is currently the chief executive of The Migraine Trust, a charity dedicated to helping people with migraines, also shared his thoughts.
He said, "It brings new hope. It will especially benefit those who have not found a treatment that works, those who get debilitating side effects – including medicine overuse headache – from them, and those with cardiovascular disease who cannot take existing treatments."