What Is the Best Medicine for Migraines?

New analysis analyzing over 100,000 migraine sufferers, revealed that CGRP inhibitors, amitriptyline, and simvastatin are more practical than conventional beta-blockers in stopping migraines. This discovery might result in cheaper therapies and influence healthcare spending in Norway.

A migraine is far more than a mere headache. It frequently includes extra signs like nausea, vomiting, and a heightened sensitivity to gentle and sound. Chronic migraines will be debilitating, usually hindering people, notably women, from absolutely collaborating of their skilled lives.

Still, it usually takes a very long time for migraine sufferers to discover a therapy that works effectively for them. Researchers at the Norwegian Center for Headache Research (NorHead) have used information from the Norwegian Prescription Register to have a look at which medicines greatest stop migraine in folks in Norway: “There has now been a lot of research on this subject before. This may weaken the quality of the treatment and increase the cost of treatment for this patient group,” says the chief of the examine, Professor Marte-Helen Bjørk at the Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen.

Three medicines had a greater impact than the first alternative of medicines

The researchers used nationwide register information from 2010 to 2020 to estimate therapy impact. They measured this by taking a look at the consumption of acute migraine medicines earlier than and after beginning preventive therapy, and investigated how lengthy the folks with migraine used the totally different preventive therapies. A complete of over 100 thousand migraine sufferers have been in the examine.

“When the withdrawal of acute migraine medicines changed little after starting preventive medicines, or people stopped quickly on the preventive medicines, the preventive medicine was interpreted as having little effect. If the preventive medicine was used on long, uninterrupted periods, and we saw a decrease in the consumption of acute medicines, we interpreted the preventive medicine as having good effect,” Bjørk explains.

As a rule, so-called beta blockers are used as the first alternative to stop migraine assaults, however the researchers discovered that particularly three medicines had higher preventive results than these: CGRP inhibitors, amitriptyline, and simvastatin.

“The latter two medicines are also established medicines used for depression, chronic pain, and high cholesterol, respectively, while CGRP inhibitors are developed and used specifically for chronic migraine,” says the professor.

Can have nice significance for the price of health care

CGRP inhibitors are costlier than the different medicines. In 2021 their reimbursement amounted to 500 million NOK (not together with reductions given by pharma firms).

“Our analysis shows that some established and cheaper medicines can have a similar treatment effect as the more expensive ones. This may be of great significance both for the patient group and Norwegian health care,” says Bjørk.

The researchers at NorHead have already started work on a big scientific examine to measure the impact of established cholesterol-lowering medicines as a safety measure towards persistent and episodic migraine.

Reference: “Comparative retention and effectiveness of migraine preventive treatments: A nationwide registry-based cohort study” by Marte H. Bjørk, Solveig Borkenhagen, Francisco Oteiza, Aud N. Dueland, Frank E. Sørgaard, Erik Magnus Sæther and Christoffer Bugge, 27 September 2023, European Journal of Neurology.
DOI: 10.1111/ene.16062

The examine was finished in collaboration with Aud Nome Dueland (Headache Norway, Sandvika Neurocenter), Frank Sørgaard (former medical advisor at Novartis), and Solveig Borkenhagen with a number of from Oslo Economics. The outcomes are printed in the prestigious journal European Journal of Neurology.

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