New Migraine Meds Can Be Life-Changing

New Migraine Meds Can Be Life-Changing

A new category of migraine medications called CGRP is proving to be a useful tool in both treating and preventing these debilitating headaches.

Dr. James

Hey, welcome back everybody!  Thank you very much for joining us once again on the 50 Shades of Pain Show. And hey, we’ve got a treat for you today because we’re going to be talking about migraine medicines.  

Dr. Danesh

For a long time we’ve only had a couple of different classes of medications that can help with migraines. And more recently, there’s been this ballooning of different medications that all fall in one specific category.  Remember how we’ve talked about the chemical soup that the brain sits in?  In that chemical soup, there are a lot of different ingredients, one of which can be an inflammatory chemical.  We don’t know why it grows or evolves, but we know that it does cause headaches.  This new category of medications targets that specific inflammatory molecule.  

Dawn Jones

That’s right.  They’re called CGRP (calcitonin gene related peptides), and we know that people who suffer from migraines have a lot more of these molecules than people who don’t. And so what happens is these little molecules float around your brain. When you get a migraine, they bind to a receptor.  That action causes inflammation in your nerves, which triggers those migraine headaches. For a long time, the only medication we had to treat migraines were triptans and maybe a couple other even older medicines, but they’re all fraught with a lot of side effects. 

These newer medications, besides having no side effects, can also prevent migraines.

Dr. James

Wait.  So, these new migraine meds also prevent migraine headaches?

Dawn Jones

That’s right.  They’re the first drugs on the market that were made to prevent migraines.  In the past, we’ve prescribed some other classes of meds that just happened to also help prevent migraines.  But they also have a lot of side effects because they were made for other problems. So, these CGRP meds are pretty awesome. They don’t have side effects and can stop migraines from happening. Before you would have been prescribed nine pills per month—a triptan like Imitrex.  And if you ran out, that was the end of the story.  Now what we can do is give you a shot, or you can give yourself a shot at home, with a very tiny little auto-injector needle. That shot sets you up to have fewer migraines, less severe migraines, and much easier to treat headaches, if you do happen to get breakthrough headaches.

Dr. Danesh

Dawn, you’re not just our physician assistant, right?  You are actually a migraine sufferer.

Dawn Jones

Yes.  And I will tell you, this has been life changing for me. I’ve gone from having some kind of headache almost every day and very debilitating migraines about three times each month to having sometimes a week or two with no headaches at all. And when I do get breakthrough migraines, they are very easy to treat.  Sometimes even Tylenol will work which never, ever was the case before. 

Dr. James

Wow, this is some impressive stuff! Dawn is our headache expert as well as a migraine sufferer. 

Dawn Jones

 If you’re already a Wellward patient, and you see us for something else like your back pain, don’t forget to let me know you also have migraines.  We are here to help you through various forms of pain.

Dr. Danesh

At Wellward, we understand that there is no one size fits all solution.  A lot of our patients take a combination of medications, different types of injections, some exercises, manipulation, or acupuncture, but the primary thing to remember is that you don’t have to suffer alone.  We know personally the toll pain takes.  We get it. And we want to make a big difference in people’s lives. These new CGRP medications have recently become one major tool that’s been a huge resource for a lot of patients who really struggle with migraine headaches.

Dr. James

This is a great time to talk about our HEAL methodology.  Dawn, what’s “H” stand for?

Dawn Jones

We’re going to HEAR what your body’s trying to tell us

Dr. Danesh

Right. Listen to what the body is trying to convey with pain. James, what does the “E”?

Dr. James

ENVISION—envision the life you could have. Without that debilitating pain.

Dr. Danesh

Right.  Because a lot of times, we struggle with just who we are and our sense of purpose. When you’re dealing with chronic pain, you wonder how you can live your life without hurting. 

The next letter—“A”—stands for ALLEVIATING the symptoms. This is our short-term plan.  How do we get your pain under control so we can start to build the long-term plan?  That takes us to “L”, which is to LEVERAGE all these tools.  We help you leverage the way the body heals, figuring out how we can better utilize the mechanisms within the body that restore it back to normal health in ways that really aren’t well thought of in conventional approaches in medicine. So, these medications are really helpful.  Injections are also helpful.  Of course, understanding the root cause of headaches is really helpful in finally getting the mechanical stabilization that can help deal with the chemicals that cause that brain soup to become too salty or too spicy.

Dr. James

All right, cool. I think that we came up with some solutions and useful questions for you patients at home. If you’re a Wellward patient, you need to consult with our headache expert, Dawn.  She will help you.  Prospective patients, look us up as wellwardmed.com, and we will walk you through the steps to become our patient.  

Do you suffer from migraine headaches?  Wellward offers many options to address your pain.  Please reach out to us to ask any questions or to set up an appointment with physician assistant Dawn Jones:  859-275-4878.  The Wellward team looks forward to speaking with you and helping you on your journey to healing and better health.