A treatment for migraine assaults that dissolves under the tongue will soon be available on the NHS, marking a step change in treatment, according to experts.
According to health professionals, 13,000 individuals may be eligible to take it to alleviate sudden and severe headaches. Rimegepant has been prescribed for adults who cannot tolerate or do not respond to other medications.
The symptoms can range from regurgitation to sensitivity to light and vision issues, and attacks can last up to three days.
About one in seven individuals suffer from migraines. They are more prevalent among women than men and primarily affect individuals between the ages of 35 and 45.
When her migraines suddenly strike, Barbara Tesio-Ryan is unable to speak effectively or see clearly. It appears to be a stroke, she states plainly that the suffering is surreal.
Recovery can take up to two days, during which she frequently experiences fatigue and confusion, which she refers to as a "migraine hangover".
Stress can be a cause, but lack of sleep, excessive amounts of stimulants, and overexposure to the sun can also be triggers.
She experienced her first migraine at the age of eight and has attempted every available medication or therapy, including acupuncture, to no avail. This drug could have a significant impact on her life, so she's very eager to test it.
Previously, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which makes decisions on drug approvals in England and whose recommendations are typically adopted in Wales and Northern Ireland, had considered rimegepant for the prevention of migraines in adults.
Now, in the final draft of guidance, it states that the Vydura-brand medication from Pfizer is a cost-effective option for treating migraine attacks that have already begun.
The drug will benefit those who have not found an effective treatment, those who experience horrible side effects from current treatments, and those who cannot take current treatments, such as those with heart disease.
Some individuals do not respond to the commonly prescribed triptans or discover that painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol do not provide relief.
People are advised to see a migraine specialist at this stage, but there are often lengthy waits to do so.
Helen Knight, director of medicines evaluation at NICE, stated that this is the first and only NICE-recommended medication that can help alleviate the agony of acute migraines, and may be considered a step change in treatment.
People had described the condition as "an invisible disability" that affected all facets of life, including work, mental health, and social activities, and there was a significant unmet need for treatment options.
Robert Music, chief executive officer of The Migraine Trust, stated that the decision offers new optimism by reducing migraine pain and duration.
He stated that migraine is an extremely misunderstood condition that can significantly impact all aspects of life, including the ability to work, sustain relationships, and mental health.
Scientists believe migraines result from anomalous brain activity that affects nerve signals, chemicals, and blood vessels in the brain.
It is unclear what causes this, but it is believed that a genetic relation exists for many individuals.