New hope for migraine sufferers

New interventions have come on market to treat migraine—a neurological disorder that causes excruciating headache pain, often hand in hand with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. While physicians have leaned heavily on drugs called triptans to resolve an attack, biologics have been developed specifically to treat migraine.

New interventions have come on market to treat migraine—a neurological disorder that causes excruciating headache pain, often hand in hand with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. While physicians have leaned heavily on drugs called triptans to resolve an attack, biologics have been developed specifically to treat migraine. They are expensive, however, and procuring them is a cumbersome process. More accessible options include two anti-seizure drugs and two beta-blockers that FDA has approved for migraine prevention. A new class of compounds called gepants, meanwhile, promises to treat active migraine attacks. Botox injections are another relatively new alternative for those with chronic migraine. Besides these pharmacologic solutions, a new neurostimulator may benefit some patients. The nondrug device is worn as an armband and is equipped with a rechargeable battery that allows it to deliver weak electrical pulses on the skin. These new products could benefit millions of Americans who have poor control over their migraines in the face of multiple barriers. The public tends to downplay migraines and stigmatize those who suffer from it, patients tend treat themselves—often unsuccessfully—with OTC or prescription drugs, and when they do seek professional help, access to experts often is limited.