Thursday, June 16, 2022
HomeMust ReadWhat Is A Breakthrough Migraine

What Is A Breakthrough Migraine

Classes Of Prophylactic Drugs

Migraine breakthrough?

The classes of medications that are effective for migraine prevention include:

  • Antiepileptics

  • Botulinum toxin

  • Calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors

Antiepileptics, antidepressants, and antihypertensives may be considered initially since they are more affordable. For any of these initial prophylactic agents, prophylaxis should not be considered a failure until it has been given at the maximum tolerable dose for at least 30 days.


Antiepileptics are generally well tolerated. The main adverse effects of topiramate are weight loss and dysesthesia. Valproic acid is useful as a first-line agent. It is a good mood stabilizer and can benefit patients with concomitant mood swings. However, it can cause weight gain, hair loss, and polycystic ovary disease therefore, it may not be ideal for young female patients who have a tendency to gain weight.

Valproic acid also carries substantial risks in pregnancy it may be best suited for women who have had tubal ligation and who cannot tolerate calcium channel blockers because of dizziness. Data for other antiepileptics are limited in migraine.

Topiramate is approved in the US for migraine prophylaxis in adults and adolescents aged 12 years or older. The safety and effectiveness of topiramate in preventing migraine headaches in adolescents were established in a clinical trial of 103 participants. Frequency of migraine decreased by approximately 72% in treated patients, compared with 44% in participants receiving placebo.

A Real Transition For Migraine Patients

Additionally, the team found that those who received either dose of erenumab showed significant improvements in physical impairments caused by migraine, as determined by their scores on the physical-impairment and everyday-activities fields of the Migraine Physical Function Impact Diary.

Erenumab-treated subjects also reported a reduction in the use of acute migraine medication over the 6-month study period.

Dr. Goadsby says that the study results clearly show that blocking the CGRP pathway is a feasible strategy for preventing migraine attacks and reducing their severity.

The results of STRIVE represent a real transition for migraine patients from poorly understood, repurposed treatments, to a specific migraine-designed therapy. STRIVE, as with the monoclonal antibody developments generally, represents an incredibly important step forward for migraine understanding and migraine treatment.

Dr. Peter Goadsby

The researchers conclude that erenumabs durability and long-term safety should be assessed in future studies, but they are hopeful that the drug could offer an effective treatment for people with migraine.

People with migraine are missing out due to this debilitating neurological disease and are in need of safe, tolerable, and effective preventive treatments, notes Vas Narasimhan, chief medical officer for Novartis. We are committed to bringing this much-needed treatment option to patients as soon as possible.

Can Older People Take Qulipta

Older people can likely take Qulipta. The drug isnt expected to cause any specific problems in older people. However, clinical trials did not include enough people ages 65 years and older. So its not known for sure if older people respond to Qulipta differently than younger people.

If youre age 65 years or older, your doctor will likely prescribe a low dose of Qulipta to start. If this doesnt cause any bothersome side effects, they may increase your dose if needed. Your doctor can help answer any questions you have.

Also Check: What Is Migraine Weather

Accessible Labels And Containers

If your prescription label is hard to read, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels that have large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesnt have these options, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to direct you to one that does.

If you have trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist if they can put Qulipta in an easy-open container. They also may be able to recommend tools that can make it simpler to open lids.

General Principles Of Prophylaxis

Doctors Prescribing New Breakthrough Migraine Medicine ...

Typically, preventive drugs must be used for periods of months. International guidelines suggest a minimum trial of 2 to 3 months of daily administration, which in fact is the shortest time period needed to assess clinically relevant effects on the condition . Although there is not a general agreement on the ideal duration of each prophylaxis period, recently published data suggest greater opportunity with longer treatment periods. The efficacy of topiramate in migraine prevention was maintained when this compound was administered continuously for up to 14 months . In another study, the efficacy of topiramate was further increased when prophylaxis was continued for rather long periods . When a group of migraine patients were treated for 8 months in an open-label extension phase after two large double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of 26 weeks duration, the mean number of headache attacks decreased from 3.4 +/ 2.6 per month in patients treated with topiramate to 2.2 ± 2.4 per month after completion of the open-label phase with the active drug .

Read Also: Is Excedrin Migraine An Nsaid

Dr Rebecca Michael Touches On The Differences Between Acute And Preventive Treatments For Migraine

There are two primary forms of treatments for migraine: acute and preventive medications. Acute medication is used during a migraine attack to relieve pain and to stop the migraine from progressing, says Dr. Rebecca Michael, an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. Preventive medication, on the other hand, is taken every day to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.

Dr. Michael spoke with us about the two forms of medication, and how patients can create an effective migraine treatment plan with their physician.

Scientists Who Discovered Migraine Mechanism Win 11m Brain Prize

Worlds largest neuroscience prize goes to researchers whose work has paved way for preventive treatments

Four scientists who discovered a key mechanism that causes migraines, paving the way for new preventive treatments, have won the largest prize for neuroscience in the world, sharing £1.1m.

The Lundbeck Foundation in Denmark announced on Thursday that the British researcher Peter Goadsby, Michael Moskowitz of the US, Lars Edvinsson of Sweden and Jes Olesen of Denmark had won the Brain prize.

Speaking at a press briefing ahead of the announcement, Goadsby, a professor of neurology at Kings College London, said: Im excited that migraine research is getting this award and that migraine this disabling problem that is a brain disorder is being recognised in an appropriate way.

Formally known as the Grete Lundbeck European brain research prize, the annual award recognises highly original and influential advances in any area of brain research. The award ceremony will take place in Copenhagen on 25 October,where the prize will be presented by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.

For many years, migraine was thought to be a psychosomatic condition, resulting from people being unable to deal with stress. Although treatments were available, these only helped to relieve the symptoms, rather than addressing the root cause, which was unknown.

Read Also: Are Migraines A Symptom Of Pregnancy

Why This New Migraine Treatment May Be A Breakthrough

  • The FDA approved the drug called Reyvow.
  • Patients who took the newly approved drug experienced migraine resolution in just 2 hours.
  • Migraine symptoms include nausea, vomiting, intense throbbing, and sensitivity to light and sound.

More than 1 in 10 Americans deal with migraine in the United States. The condition affects 39 million men, women, and children in the United States and 1 billion worldwide, the Migraine Research Foundation reports.

Now theres a new drug that may help.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Reyvow to treat acute migraine. The drug is for active, short-term migraine. It isnt intended to prevent migraine.

The drug treats migraine with or without aura a common sensory phenomenon or visual disturbance that can accompany migraine.

How To Treat Migraine

Breakthrough Covid Infections: What Is The Real Risk?

Given what we now know about its cause, effective treatment of migraine must necessarily involve stabilization of this genetically primed brain and nervous system pathway for head pain transmission that has become acutely or chronically sensitized.

When we speak of acute migraine treatment, we are referring to measures one may take at the time of a headache that are intended to terminate that headache and associated symptoms such as nausea and light sensitivity. Preventive treatment refers to measures used on a chronic basis to reduce headache burden.

There are many ways to skin the migraine cat, both for acute/symptomatic treatment and for chronic/prophylactic therapy. While non-prescription and prescription medications are often of great value in controlling migraine, there are other ways to treat the disorder that do not involve administering a pill, nasal spray or injection. Regular aerobic exercise, other measures taken to reduce chronic stress , good sleep hygiene and avoidance of obvious migraine triggers may do as much as any prescription therapy to reduce migraine attack frequency and overall headache burden. Especially when utilized early, aerobic exercise, application of heat or cold to the head and neck areas, drinking a caffeinated beverage or just briefly taking a break and relaxing may terminate an acute attack.

Acute Migraine Treatment

Read Also: What Piercing Stops Migraines

Better Treatments For Headaches Are Urgently Needed

Migraines are far too common to ignore. An attack can last anywhere from hours to 3 days. You can imagine how disruptive this is to people who suffer from these headaches. Historically, many patients have had their pain dismissed, underestimated, under-recognized, or under-treated. This can be attributed to the fact many healthcare providers are not knowledgeable enough about headache disorders. Globally, on average, just a mere four hours of undergraduate medical education instruction is focused on headache disorders, according to the World Health Organization.

Now, with the expansion of telemedicine programs to specifically focus on headaches, people prone to severe or recurring headaches can now seek alternative solutions to deal with chronic pain. While telemedicine is a good start, much more needs to be done to help the millions of people who struggle daily with migraine pain or the stress of not knowing when the next severe headache will flare. Headaches often fall low on the priority list for funding because they arent fatal, and pharmaceutical companies dont prioritize them because treatments for other illnesses and diseases take precedence. Much needs to be learned about the root cause of migraines, and more importantly, to find a cure.


Breakthrough Solution To Aid Women Suffering From Migraines

Every year, millions of people across the globe suffer from migraines. Unless you or someone you care about has struggled with this pain, you might not realize how incapacitating migraines can be. Many individuals are surprised to learn that migraines are one of the most disabling illnesses in the world. Women in particular are most vulnerable, suffering migraine headaches three times as often as men. Migraines are the fourth highest cause of disability for women. Why women? While the exact cause of migraines is not known, hormones are believed to potentially play a role.

A large percentage of women who suffer from debilitating headaches have chronic migraines, and relief isnt always possible with home remedies or over-the-counter treatments. As a result, they often schedule frequent doctor appointments, which can be disruptive to both work schedules and daily life.

This past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges for migraine sufferers. Between capacity restrictions, limited appointments, and hesitation about going to doctors offices for treatment due to potential coronavirus exposure, undoubtedly many people have been suffering in silence.

You May Like: Liquid Medicine For Migraines

Identifying And Managing Triggers

Migraine triggers are specific to individuals. A headache diary is a helpful tool to aid patients in identifying particular triggers, monitoring the number of headache days, and documenting therapeutic response. Common triggers include delayed or missed meals, menstruation, stress, weather changes, alcohol, and certain odors. Common dietary triggers include chocolate, soft cheeses, red wine, and artificial sweeteners and additives such as monosodium glutamate.5,6 Caffeine can be helpful in relieving headache pain, but acute withdrawal from daily consumption can be a trigger . After triggers are identified, a physician can recommend ways to manage these triggers, such as avoiding certain foods, establishing regular mealtimes, managing stress, and evaluating and treating underlying sleep disorders or psychiatric conditions.


Delayed/missed meals



Sleep disturbances


Information from references 5 and 6.


Delayed/missed meals



Sleep disturbances


Information from references 5 and 6.

Long Duration Of Preventive Therapy

Breakthroughs in migraine treatment

Patients might not accept taking preventive drugs for periods of at least several months. Explanations on the nature of migraine as well as on the goals and the mechanisms of action of preventive compounds are required. This information should help patients to recognize that prophylaxis is by definition a long-term treatment, as its rationale is to gradually exert a positive action on the complex mechanisms causing migraine, and that the effect of prevention requires a regular and continuous administration for relatively long therapeutic cycles.

Also Check: Nortriptyline Taper Plan

Crafting A Holistic Care Plan

If you’re experiencing painful migraines or other types of severe or chronic headaches, see your primary care doctor or a neurologist. They can refer you to a headache specialist for specialized care such as injections.

These tools are just one part of a larger headache strategy.

Lifestyle changes are also key, Dr. Shadbehr says. Getting enough sleep, hydrating and limiting caffeine can all ease headache symptoms. Keeping a migraine diary can also help you and your provider identify your patterns and personal food triggers.

There are individualized treatment plans available to help alleviate chronic headaches and improve your quality of life.

Possibility Of Adverse Events

The occurrence of adverse events following administration of preventive drugs is a very common concern expressed by migraine patients when they receive the prescription of prophylaxis. Concern for side effects may discourage sufferers from accepting prophylaxis or may negatively influence patient adherence, causing different problems, such as non regular daily dosing, self-reduction of the prescribed compound, or withdrawal of prophylaxis following trivial symptoms or events which are not treatment-related.

To overcome these problems, a comprehensive history taking should include: evaluation of life style of the individual patient, eliciting fear of a particular adverse event, and obtaining history of occurrence of side effects from previous treatments. Clinicians should choose the preventive compound accordingly, with the active participation of their patient.

In any case, patients should be advised about the most common adverse events of the prescribed drugs and even of those uncommon effects which could be clinically relevant and which might require drug withdrawal. If possible, focus should be on the benign nature of most adverse events, the possibility that they could be reduced during the course of treatment, or that they could be minimized by reducing the daily doses.

Recommended Reading: Migraine Causing Numbness

How Does Amitriptyline Work For Migraine

Amitriptyline increases the effects of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is associated with emotional well-being, pain regulation, and other biological functions such as sleeping and eating.

Theres no single explanation for why migraine attacks occur. Theyre caused by a combination of contributing factors.

For some people, serotonin is one of those factors. Research has shown that people who experience migraine attacks are more likely to have low levels of serotonin. For many, alterations in serotonin level or activity can trigger a migraine attack.

Amitriptylines effect on migraine might be related to its effect on serotonin levels. More research needs to be done to understand its exact mechanism of action.

2019 literature review concluded that there isnt enough evidence to recommend amitriptyline to prevent migraine attacks in children.

However, the review also reported that children between 10 and 17 who were treated with amitriptyline alongside cognitive behavioral therapy were more likely to experience a reduction in chronic headaches.

Breakthroughs In Migraine Treatment

Gravitas: A jab to treat Migraine?

A recently published thematic series in The Journal of Headache and Pain explores the most important aspects of a small molecule associated with migraine: Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide . The thematic series covers everything about PACAP from its discovery in the central nervous system to experimental studies with relevance to primary headaches. To find out more, we invited migraine researcher Song Guo to tell us the latest breakthroughs in migraine treatment.

This blog post has been re-posted from the SpringerOpen blog.

Migraine is the most common neurological disorder, afflicting 10-15% of adults worldwide. Because migraines rank amongst the most debilitating conditions, the annual cost and public health burden are substantial.

Migraines are characterized primarily as attacks of severe headache accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and discomfort caused by sound or light. They can be episodic or chronic which is defined as having headache less or more than 15 days per month.

Despite better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of migraine, significant gaps remain in the identification of signaling pathways and specific biomarkers. Nevertheless, a likely breakthrough in treatment options seems to be in the horizon.

Read Also: Migraine Numb Fingers

Does Telemedicine Work For Migraine Patients

The idea of telemedicine for migraine makes sense. But is it as good as the traditional, in-person visit for migraine? The answer appears to be yes. In a stroke of luck, a telemedicine study on migraine was published in 2019, just months before the COVID pandemic struck. In this study patients came in person for their first visit. Afterwards, they were divided at random into two groups: one group had their follow-ups in person, and another group had their follow-ups by telemedicine. After 1 year, headaches for both groups improved equally. This small study suggests that telemedicine and in-person follow-up visits both work for migraines!

Qulipta And Other Medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Qulipta. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Qulipta.

Before taking Qulipta, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Types of drugs that can interact with Qulipta include:

  • Drugs that are strong CYP3A4 inhibitors. Taking Qulipta with a strong CYP3A4* inhibitor can increase the risk of side effects from Qulipta. If you take Qulipta with one of these drugs, your doctor will likely prescribe a 10-milligram dose of Qulipta. Examples of these drugs include:
  • clarithromycin
  • itraconazole
  • ketoconazole
  • Drugs that are strong or moderate CYP3A4 inducers. Taking Qulipta with a strong or moderate CYP3A4* inducer can make Qulipta less effective than usual.If you take Qulipta with one of these drugs, your doctor will likely prescribe a 30-mg or 60-mg dose of Qulipta. Examples of these drugs include:
  • carbamazepine
    • phenytoin
    • rifampin
  • Drugs that are OATP inhibitors. Taking Qulipta with an OATP inhibitor can increase the risk of side effects from Qulipta. If you take Qulipta with one of these drugs, your doctor will likely prescribe a 10-mg or 30-mg dose of Qulipta. An example of these drugs is cyclosporine .
  • Read Also: Is Tylenol Good For Headaches


    Popular Articles