What is the difference between a really bad headache and a migraine? Dr. Shivangi Joshi from the Dent Neurologic Institute says there is stigma associated with migraines. Some people will say it’s just a headache why don’t you just take something and it will go away but a migraine is a neurological disorder. He says more and more we are realizing it is a disorder of the brain nervous system and right now we know more about migraines than we ever did before.
Can you have a mild migraine? Dr. Joshi says you can if you have a known diagnosis of a migraine. Say you have a headache and you’re not sure it’s going to become a migraine. Dr. Joshi says more likely than not it is probably part of the same migraine spectrum. If there is a trigger added onto that it may convert from a headache that just a squeezing of pressure-like sensation then it turns into a migraine. He says they have specific medication that targets specific mechanisms that have been developed and that’s how they know migraines are not just a headache. It is a real neurological disorder and he says it is something they can treat and not be afraid of and it is very common. Over 30 million adults suffer migraines in the United States and there are probably there’s a lot more than that because a lot of them are being underdiagnosed. He says they might go through their life with a diagnosis of sinus headaches or a tension headache and the reality is those sinus headaches are probably migraines. Migraines have a lot more treatment than they did before. Dr. Joshi says it is something they can treat and help patients with the symptoms.
What is the solution? Dr. Joshi says one of the newest medications available now goes by the brand name of Nurtec ODT. It specifically blocks receptors. A receptor is an area where certain molecules will bind to in the brain or anywhere but specially here the receptor is called the CGRP receptor. It has been discovered more recently as it relates to migraines. Dr. Joshi says they feel it might be related to the underlying cause of a migraine. He goes on to say Nurtec binds to this receptor preventing further events taking place that lead to the presentation of migraines and that’s how the medication works. The key features to this medication is, that it works fast, it lasts and it is simple to take. He says it a pill that can be taken just once and it works for up to 48 hours and the pain relief starts as early as 15 minutes and within 90 minutes patients have been noted to have complete headache relief as well.
The way to obtain this medication is from their primary care doctor as well as a headache specialist or neurologist. Just ask your doctor.
Nurtec ODT orally disintegrating tables is a prescription medicine for acute treatment of migraine in adults. Nurtec ODT is not used as a preventive treatment of migraine. Do not take if you are allergic to Nurtec ODT or any of its ingredients. The most common side effect was nausea in 2% of patients. Please visit Nurtec.com for full Prescribing Information and Patient information.