Migraine Gem - Medications Approved by FDA

MigraineGems190There are over 100 medications and supplements being used for the prevention of Migraine and headache. When we get frustrated with trying to find preventive treatments that work for us, it's helpful to remember that there are so many options.

Do you know how many of them are actually approved by the FDA for that purpose? Do you know how many of them were originally developed for Migraine and headache prevention?

I think you'll be amazed by the answers. You can find them in Medications Approved by the FDA for Treating Migraine.

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© Teri Robert, 2013
Last updated August 28, 2013.


Medications Approved by the FDA for Migraine

PreventivesFDAApp166

Many of the questions about Migraines and Migraine disease revolve around the medications used to treat Migraine. Given the number of medications that are being used to treat Migraine today, the number of medication questions seems to keep growing.

One question I received Friday was from a gentleman who was looking for a listing of all the medications use for Migraine that are actually FDA approved for Migraine. It was what Oprah would call an "Aha! moment." With all the writing I've done about Migraines, I've listed those medications within other articles, but haven't written an article specifically on the topic.

I've remedied that omission. Here's that article: Medications Approved by the FDA for Treating Migraine.

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© Teri Robert, 2012
Last updated March 12, 2012.


Migraine Gem of the Day - Preventive, Abortive, Rescue

MigGem166There are three main categories of Migraine medications:

  1. Preventive medications are taken daily to reduce the frequency and severity of Migraines.
  2. Abortive medications are taken when a Migraine occurs. They work to stop the Migrainous process, thus stopping the symptoms as well.
  3. Rescue medications are taken for a Migraine attack when abortive medications fail or can't be used.

You can read more about Migraine medications in Types of Migraine Medications: Preventive, Abortive, Rescue.

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated October 21, 2011


Migraine and Health Insurance

Are you trying to deal with Migraines without health insurance?I saw this on television today, and it offers some great information for people with no health insurance:

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated September 30, 2011


Migraine Rescue: When Our Regular Treatments Fail

7Essentials#6-125 What is it that constitutes good Migraine Management? This morning, I read an email from a woman who's struggling to find a doctor who is willing to give her a shot when her "regular" Migraine treatments fail and she needs help. To my way of thinking, she shouldn't be having to worry about this. The doctor who treats her for her Migraines should have this covered.

This is what's called rescue treatment - treatment we use when the treatment we normally use when we get a Migraine fails. When our Migraine treatment fails, we're in bad shape. We're usually in a lot of pain and plagued by other symptoms as well - nausea, vomiting, photophobia, and more. If our first-line treatment fails - and it will fail sometimes - we and our doctors should have a rescue plan and rescue treatment in place. It's not realistic to expect us to be able to go to the doctor when this happens. First of all, getting anywhere is terribly difficult and adds to our pain. Some people live alone. How are they supposed to get there? If it's a weekend, after hours, a holiday, or during our doctor's vacation, then what? Relying on an emergency room in these situations is even worse. Many emergency room personnel don't want to see Migraineurs, and again, it's difficult to get there.

In a truly comprehensive Migraine management regimen, rescue treatment is an essential element. Have you and your doctor discussed rescue treatment? Do you have rescue treatments in your Migraine took kit?

You can learn more about rescue treatment in Migraine Management Essential 6: Rescue Treatment.

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated May 5, 2011


Migraine Pearls or Onions? 2/23/11

PearlsOrOnions125 When it comes to online Migraine information, the quality of what we find has quite a wide range. It can be bright, polished, and valuable, or it can be... well, rough and stinky.

This feature, "Migraine Pearls or Onions?," highlights both the Migraine Pearls I come across online and the stinky Migraine Onions.

Pearl100 So, first up...today's Migraine Pearl... the American Heart Association and their Go Red for Women campaign. At first thought, this might not seem related to Migraine, but it is. When we look at effective Migraine management, we can't underestimate the importance of good overall health, and heart health is very important in that context. Additionally, having Migraine disease increase our risk of developing cardiovascular disease or having a cardiovascular event. One of the best things we can do for our overall heatlh as well as Migraine health is to have a heart-to-heart (pun fully intended) conversation with our doctors about our risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and what we can do to reduce our modifiable risk factors.

For more about this, please take a few minutes to read Migraines and Our Hearts - Are You Wearing Red Today? Wear Red day may be over, but this is still National Heart Month, and this is always an important topic.

Onion100 Now, on to today's Migraine Onion. Dr. Andrew Jones of the Women's Health Institute. Sigh. Jones's web site used to actually guarantee a Migraine "CURE." He doesn't use "the C word" these days, but his web site does promise...

"This ALL NATURAL TREATMENT Means the End To Migraine Pain Forever."

Uh huh. Give me a break. Anyone who says that has no respect for Migraineur. This man either things we're fools, or he's counting on our being desperate enough to try anything. The bottom line is that there is NOTHING that can end Migraine forever. NOTHING. What makes this more reprehensible is that Jones is actually a doctor. I checked. The man does have a valid medical license.

I'm not going to even say anything more about Jones or the "treatments" he sells. The bottom line is that when someone says they can "cure" Migraines or "end Migraine pain forever," walk away, click away from their web site, delete the email, whatever. It's simply not true. Don't reward these poeple by buying products that can't possibly totally eliminate or cure a disease for which, at this time, there is no cure. Instead, find a good Migraine specialist to work with and explore the real treatments that are available.

If you'd like to make a suggestion for a
Migraine Pearl or a Migraine Onion,
please leave me a comment!

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Get the latest Migraine and headache news, informational articles, tips for living well, and more in my free weekly newsletter. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated February 23, 2011


Migraine Pearls or Onions? 2/7/11

PearlsOrOnions125 When it comes to online Migraine information, the quality of what we find has quite a wide range. It can be bright, polished, and valuable, or it can be... well, rough and stinky.

This feature, "Migraine Pearls or Onions?," highlights both the Migraine Pearls I come across online and the stinky Migraine Onions.

Pearl100 So, first up...today's Migraine Pearl... the American Headache Society (AHS). The primary function of the American Headache Society is a professional society of health care providers dedicated to the study and treatment of headache and face pain. The Society's objectives are to promote the exchange of information and ideas concerning the causes and treatments of headache and related painful disorders. Educating physicians, health professionals and the public and encouraging scientific research are the primary functions of this organization. AHS activities include an annual scientific meeting, a comprehensive headache symposium, regional symposia for neurologists and family practice physicians, publication of the journal Headache and sponsorship of the AHS Committee for Headache Education (ACHE) (description taken from their web site).

There are many reasons I respect the American Headache Society. Today, I want to point out that on the web site for their journal, there's a section for patients. That's right, for patients, and it can be accessed free of charge. Just go to www.headachejournal.org. The third section down in the left column is "FOR PATIENTS." There's a great deal of information there, including podcasts, patient education pages, article summaries, and much more. I strongly recommend visiting their journal site and bookmarking it so you can return to it easily.

While you're at it, you don't want to miss the section of their main site that's for patients and the public. Another site too visit and bookmark - www.AcheNet.org. I'm honored to be serving as an advisor to ACHE, the AHS Committee for Headache Education, so I can tell you first-hand how much concern and work is being put into enlarging and improving this site. My thanks go to the AHS!

Onion100 Now, on to today's Migraine Onion. This one is an article - "Headache and Migraine Medication Types," by Cricket Webber at BellaOnline. Before I go into the details of why I think this article is "a stinky onion," let me clarify a few points:

  • Webber's intentions are good.
  • Webber is not one of the spammers and scammers out to make $$ from the misery of Migraineurs.
  • She is not pushing a product.

So, why is this article an onion? Because it's inaccurate. Allow me to point out some of the inaccuracies to be sure you have the correct information:

  • Webber talks about only two types of medications for Migraines and headaches - pain relievers and "preventative" medications. She says, "Also included in the pain reliever category are medications such as triptans and ergot." Triptans and ergotamines are not pain relievers; they are Migraine abortive medications that work to stop the Migrainous process in the brain. In stopping the Migrainous process, they don't just relieve the pain of Migraine, they stop the other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, etc. They will do nothing for pain that is not Migraine or Migraine-like (cluster headaches, some post-traumatic headaches).
  • She says, "As a last resort, your doctor may prescribe opiate pain relievers for your migraines. This option is generally reserved for people who cannot take triptans or ergots and for whom over-the-counter pain relievers do not work. Narcotic pain relievers are addictive, so your doctor will most likely only prescribe these after all other avenues have been tried." Addiction is not the main reason doctors don't like to prescribe opioids for Migraine. When you take opioids for pain, you do not become addicted. You might become dependent, but that's far different from addiction. Doctors don't like to prescribe opioids for Migraine for many reasons including their potential for causing medication overuse headache and research showing that any use of opioids increases risk of transformed Migraine.
  • Webber states, "Preventative medications are generally the best option if you experience headaches or Migraines because of an underlying health condition, such as high blood pressure, or if pain relievers so not work to relieve your Migraines and narcotic medications are not an option." This is not the criteria generally used to decide if preventive medications are advisable. If an underlying condition is triggering Migraines or causing headaches, the first step is to treat the underlying condition. Also, preventive medications are generally recommended when the patient has three or more Migraines per month or if their Migraines are especially severe or debilitating. For example: It would generally not be recommended that preventive medications be prescribed for someone who has a few mild Migraines a year.

I don't know how Webber researched this article (She doesn't list her sources.), so I don't know why this article isn't more accurate. Rather than write more about it, I'll remind you that an article being published online, even when it's on a significant network such as Bella, doesn't necessarily mean that the information is accurate.

When trying to determine the reliability of online information, here are a few things to look for:

  • What are the qualifications of the person providing the information?
  • When was it written? Advances in knowledge about Migraine and treatment options for it are advancing,. If information is very old, it may be outdated.
  • Does the author list the sources of information the used to write the material? If so, what are they? If not, why not? Is the material very common knowledge, or should they have listed their sources?
  • Is the site HONcode certified? Not all sites with reliable content are HONcode certified, nor is that the only criteria to use when determining the reliability of material, but it's a start. Sites that are certified will carry the HONCode seal that you can find at the top of the left column of this blog.

For more information on the types of medications used to treat Migraine, please take a look at Types of Migraine Medications: Preventive, Abortive, Rescue.

If you'd like to make a suggestion for a
Migraine Pearl or a Migraine Onion,
please leave me a comment!

Live well,


 

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Get the latest Migraine and headache news, informational articles, tips for living well, and more in my free weekly newsletter. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated February 7, 2011


Migraine and Medications Like Midrin, 1/16/11 Update

MidrinStatus100 For many years, Midrin has been used as a Migraine abortive medication. It's a compound medication consisting of three ingredients - isometheptene mucate, dichloralphenazone, and acetaminophen. There have been other medications with the same ingredients - Duradin, Epidrin, other brand name medications, and "generics" marked isometheptene mucate / dichloralphenazone / acetaminophen.

In 2007, the brand Midrin was unavialable for some time due to manufacturing problems. Recently, Midrin and many of the other medications with the same active ingredients have been discontinued, leaving Migraineurs scrambling to find relief. Last month, I contacted the FDA anout this issue and shared their explanation with you as well as outlining other Migraine abortive medications (see Midrin and Other Discontinued Migraine Medications).

The short version is that Midrin was developed before the current FDA approval process was put into place vai the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as amended in 1962. The amendment required manufacturers to show that their drug products were effective, as well as meeting the requirement of the earlier Act, that the products must be safe. None of the companies manufacturing Midrin and similar medications had met these requirements. Recently many companies ceased manufacturing these medications to comply with FDA regulations.

Epidrin100 Because this impacts so many Migraineurs, I've been working to discover if any of the manufacturers are going to seek FDA approval to continue with these medications. I have good news to report. This week, I learned that Excellium Pharmaceuticals has indeed invested the millions of dollars necessary to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of their produce, Epidrin. They are applying to the FDA for approval, and Eipdrin will, hopefully, be made and shipped again by early spring.

Several Migraineurs have written to the FDA, and some have suggested that a campaign be started to flood the FDA with emails and phone calls about this situation. If such a campaign stood any chance of being successful, I'd be urging everyone to do so. However, the FDA's hands are tied on this. They cannot allow these medications to continue being made without going through the approval process because to do so would violation the law.

I fully understand that this creates a terrible hardship for those Migraineurs who cannot use other abortive medications because they have a history of or are at high risk for stroke and other cardiovascular conditions and events. I'll continue to investigage which, if any, other manufacturers are applying for FDA approval and their progress.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

It's a compound medication consisting of three ingredients - isometheptene mucate, dichloralphenazone, and acetaminophen.

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated January 16, 2011