MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - There’s a medical breakthrough for chronic migraine sufferers. New medication made especially for those with debilitating headaches is in use already right here in the Mid-South.
Pounding pain, and unbearable symptoms - migraine patients, know the feelings.
"They're dysfunctional on a regular basis and it's not just the headache that makes them dysfunctional. Sometimes it's the nausea, the light and sound sensitivity,” says Dr. Stephen Landy, the Director of Baptist Headache Clinic.
Whatever the trigger, Dr. Landy says he sees many of them in his office. "Weather change, the wrong food, missing a meal,” he says are some of those triggers.
For years, he's tried to treat them with whatever is available, often successful with re-purposed drugs.
"For example, blood pressure medication was taken by a patient with high blood pressure and then they found out it helped their migraine,” says Dr. Landy.
Botox has also been helpful for migraine sufferers, beginning as an aesthetic but also helping with pain. Now a new medication, could make that a thing of the past.
"This new class of drugs are called CGRP monocolonal antibodies,” says Dr. Landy.
Put simply, it is designed specifically for migraine treatment, and not a nice result of a different medication. The drug Aimovig is a monthly injection similar to an insulin pen.
"Very safe, very well tolerated as well,” says Dr. Landy.
Dr. Landy says there are little side effects associated with it, which has not been the case for the drugs they've been forced to depend on in the past.
At the clinic, they're beginning to prescribe it for patients with the initial dose, given here.
"Show them how to do it, inject them, and then subsequently they'll do the remainders once a month,” says Dr. Landy.
He says anyone who suffers continually from the pain of migraine headaches should certainly consider its use. Dr. Landy says the new medication can be effective in as little as a week or two, faster than several months of repurposed medications.