HeadWise HeadWise: Volume 2, Issue 2 - Page 12

research Helping You Live Better The Headache Toolbox New delivery systems help build out the toolbox of headache treatments. By Jackie Walker Gibson may lie ahead. “Consequently it is important that migraineurs have the right therapeutic tools to match their treatment needs,” he says. With seven triptans on the market, Dr. Cady notes that migraine patients often find themselves on a “merry-go-round of switching from one pill to another in pursuit of successful migraine control. The reality is that what many patients with migraine need is not another pill but a better, more effective means of delivering their migraine medication.” Nausea is a common symptom of migraine and also a common side effect of medication. According to the February 2012 issue of the journal Headache, 92 percent of migraineurs experience nausea during a migraine, and 31 HE PRIMARY TREATMENT for headache is percent of migraineurs report this symptom as intermedication in pill form. But as many people fering with their ability to take oral medications. with headache know, it’s not the only option, Fortunately, many new and novel products are availand it might not be the best option, depending on how able or being developed to meet migraineurs’ needs. pills react with your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Injectable medications provide one delivery sys“People with migraine will manage multiple attacks tem that may be prescribed to provide quick relief. of migraine over decades of time, so it is essential to The needleless injection—one new form of injectable understand that not all attacks of migraine are created approved by the FDA—propels medicine into the fat equally,” says Roger Cady, MD, associate executive of the skin in one-tenth of a second, fast enough to chairman of the National Headache Foundation and push it through the skin but without the sting of a founder and director of the Headache Care Center, Inc. sharp needle. in Springfield, Mo. Patches also bypass the GI tract, but their efficacy Dr. Cady notes that while some migraines are severe depends on the delivery method. Lidocaine patches are from the start, others develop more slowly. Some local anesthetics that (like some topical creams) can migraines are associated with severe symptoms such as reduce pain in an area by temporarily dulling feeling. nausea or vomiting and others with less intense symp- “Lidocaine patches are not commonly used as a treattoms. Some migraineurs have unique treatment needs ment for migraine,” Dr. Cady says. “They can be used because of their obligations and responsibilities that to relieve muscle pain or skin sensitivity, but are not very | Volume 2, Issue 2 • 2012 T 10 HEAD WISE