Migraines to be blasted away with magnetic pulse device
27th January 2014
migraineSo you are one of the estimated 1 in 4 women and 1 in 12 men in the UK who are suffering with migraines, what do you do? Well this is where Medical Specialists Pharmacy come in and today we are delighted to announce we can now supply a wide range of proven and popular migraine treatments. The first goes by the name of Sumatriptan; the active ingredient in over-the-counter Imigran Recovery tablets and prescription-only Imigran nasal spray. Imigran Recovery tablets begin to relieve migraine headache in a mere 30 minutes, though some people find nasal sprays work faster and easier to use when feeling sick. Known as a type of medicine called ‘triptans’, Sumatriptan has been used for a number of decades by people around the world and is deemed a safe medication, with Imigran being the most widely used triptan. The causes of migraine attacks are not fully established, but many health experts believe it is the widening of blood vessels in the brain that brings on the familiar throbbing pain with migraine headaches. Sumatriptan helps to narrow the blood vessels in the brain and thus, relieves this pain. It does this by imitating the action of serotonin by stimulating the serotonin receptors in the brain and stopping the transmission of pain signals. Another widely prescribed migraine treatment is Rizatriptan; the active ingredient in both Maxalt tablets and Maxalt Melt tablets. Both are prescription-only, or obtainable through an online consultation with a Medical Specialists GMC-registered doctor. Like Imigran, Maxalt belongs to a medicine called a serotonin (or 5HT) agonist and again targets the serotonin receptors in the brain. Maxalt Melt tablets dissolve on the tongue in your saliva and therefore do not require a drink of water when taking them. Those who typically feel sick or vomit when experiencing a migraine attack and thus cannot drink are especially suited to Maxalt melts, in addition to people unable to swallow normal tablets. The most common of the neurological conditions – migraine – has also this week been in the news for having another new type of treatment to its arsenal. Although oral and nasal medications for migraine are still the most tried, tested and popular, the new device may  benefit the select few who are unable to take traditional anti-migraine treatments. Surprisingly, the new treatment comes in the form of a magnetic handheld device that transmits pulses through the skull and into to the brain. The official name for the treatment is ‘transcranial magnetic stimulation’ (TMS), and involves holding the device behind a patient's head and with a simple click of a button, magnetic pulses are sent to the brain helping to disrupt the painful headaches. One trial of TMS involved 164 patients experiencing at least one migraine attack with visual disturbance, finding pain-free levels with 40% of patients for around two hours after using the device. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), responsible for assessing safety and suitable for the latest treatments, have published guidance stating TMS is eligible to be recommended to certain patients through the NHS. Although viewed as a potential breakthrough for those who unable to benefit from alternative treatments ineffective, or unsuited (i.e. during pregnancy), patients can only receive TMS if referred to a specialist headache clinic first and NICE are adamant that further research into magnetic therapy is essential. If you missed the Medical Specialists ‘The misunderstood mystery of the migraine’ article back in November, simply click here for further information about migraines, including the common symptoms of a migraine, a description of the 5 stages of an attack and how the condition differs from a typical headache.