The latest treatments for migraine – and how you can get expert advice on whether they could be right for you
Migraine affects as many as one in five women and one in 12 men. So much more than ‘just a headache’, migraine prevents many people from enjoying daily activities and can seriously impact work or education.
But few are aware of the wide range of treatments that are available today for migraine – treatments that have helped many millions of people to control their migraine.
Don’t continue to suffer – get professional advice and discuss how you could access treatments for headache.
You’ve tried painkillers, you’ve spoken to your GP and you’re still finding migraine unmanageable – so what are your options? Our headache specialists can help you navigate the array of treatments available and find what works for you. But here are just a few of the tried-and-tested choices to consider.
Option one: Anti-CGRP medication
A newer type of medication that targets a particular chemical neurotransmitter called CGRP, these drugs have received a great deal of attention in recent years. Research has shown anti-CGRP medication can greatly reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks for many.
This new class of drugs has been shown to improve symptoms in up to 60 per cent of people with chronic migraine*.
At the National Migraine Centre, we can consider patients who experience four or more days with migraine each month for anti-CGRP treatment. Clinicians can prescribe a number of injectable anti-CGRP medications, including Ajovy, Aimovig and Emgality.
More recently, oral anti-CGRP medication has also arrived in the UK, which is available in tablet form and can be taken both to prevent migraine and also as a treatment when an attack begins. The first oral anti-CGRP licensed in the UK is called Vydura (rimegepant), and can be prescribed via the National Migraine Centre.
Anti-CGRPs generally aren’t available from your GP. Specialist headache clinics, which can prescribe, are often subject to very long waiting times, sometimes of a year or more. If you can finally secure an appointment, you generally still cannot be prescribed anti-CGRPs until you have first trialled at least three different preventative drug treatments from different drug groups – and to access most anti-CGRPs you’ll need to be affected on at least 15 days a month.
But you can request an anti-CGRP appointment today through the National Migraine Centre. There’s no need for long waiting times or even a doctor’s referral – just book a consultation at the National Migraine Centre and we can arrange for you to see a leading headache clinician within a few days, all from the comfort of your home. They’ll discuss whether anti-CGRPs are right for you and, if so, can issue prescriptions.
We make no profit at all and exist only to get effective treatment to people like you who are affected by migraine.
Find out more: anti-CGRP treatment for migraine factsheet.
* Chronic migraine is defined as having more than 15 headache days per month, of which eight days have migraine features, for at least three months.
Option two: Nerve blocks
A greater occipital nerve (GON) block treatment involves an injection of local anaesthetic and steroid around the nerves which supply the scalp.
Nerve blocks can be effective both for migraine and cluster headache patients too. Research suggests around two-thirds of patients could see benefits, which may include reductions in both the frequency and severity of headaches.
The National Migraine Centre organises regular procedure clinics and can usually provide an appointment within a matter of days or weeks. You’ll initially see a clinician who will learn more about your headaches, explain about the procedure and, with you, decide if it could be right for you.
Again, we don’t make any profit on our work – your fees allow us to continue to help more people affected by migraine.
Find out more: nerve blocks for headache factsheet.
Option three: Botox
Better known as a cosmetic treatment, many people with migraine are unaware that Botox is widely used as a treatment for chronic migraine. Research has shown that Botox can reduce the severity and frequency of attacks for most people with chronic migraine.
Once again, Botox isn’t available from your GP, and specialist headache clinics may involve very long waiting times. And, just like the anti-CGRP prescriptions, you will generally also be expected to have tried three different preventative drug treatments from different drug groups before you will even be considered.
Many people prefer to get treated right away at the National Migraine Centre. We can usually book you a place at one of our regular procedure clinics within a couple of weeks where you’ll be able to discuss treatment with an experienced clinician.
Find out more: Botox and migraine factsheet.
Founded in 1980 as a London migraine clinic and specialist headache charity, today we provide people from across the whole of the UK with access to appointments with leading headache doctors and top consultant neurologists from their own homes, thanks to video and phone consultations.
With over 40 years’ experience, the National Migraine Centre brings together many of the country’s leading headache specialists to provide you with effective treatments for headache. We make no profit – we’re just here to make sure you get the best possible treatment. So don’t continue to suffer the agony of uncontrolled headache; book a consultation today and get back to living.