The Preventative Power of Nurtec

The Preventative Power of Nurtec and the Fight Against Migraines

Migraines are more than just a “mild inconvenience” according to one recent study – they’ve become the third most prevalent illness in the world.

The same source indicated that nearly one out of every four homes in the United States has someone who regularly experiences migraines – an unfortunate trend that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Although migraines most commonly impact people between the ages of 18 and 44, they can happen at any age. Along the same lines, about 90% of people suffering from migraines have some type of pre-existing family history.

In early 2020, a medication called Rimegepant – also commonly referred to as Nurtec ODT – was approved in the United States for treating acute migraines in patients. Just a few months ago, in June of 2021, it was approved as a preventative measure as well. This is an important step forward in the treatment of migraines because it bucks the trend of medication overuse headaches.

What You Need to Know About Medication Overuse Headaches

Patients and physicians have noticed that “as needed” medications taken for migraine can cause more headaches.  This led to the term medication overuse headache, which occurs when you have migraine headaches at least half the time (15 out of every 30 days) AND you take “as needed” medications 10-15 days per month.  It is found with most migraine “as needed” medications including Tylenol, triptans like sumatriptan, and opioids (taking any combination of these at least 10 days per month) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like Motrin or Aleve (taken at least 15 days per month).  Switching medications, like taking Tylenol for 9 days and a triptan for a different 9 days, doesn’t prevent it.  For some patients this is not a problem, because they don’t have more than 9 headache days per month.  But for patients with more headaches, they have to decide which days they want to take a medication to treat their headaches, and which days they simply don’t treat them.  Otherwise, their headaches may get worse.  We need medications that do not cause medication overuse headaches, and Nurtec is a step in that direction because it can be used both “as needed” AND as a preventive.

What You Need to Know About Nurtec

Biohaven Pharmaceuticals originally developed Nurtec prior to getting FDA approval in February of 2020.  It is a small molecule calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonist, otherwise known as a CGRP blocker. This type of medication uses monoclonal antibodies to bind to CGRP receptors, thus helping to prevent the onset of migraines in many patients. Note, they have also been commonly researched for their use against conditions like osteoarthritis, among others.

Several clinical studies have shown just how effective Nurtec can be in terms of a proactive approach to migraines.  A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multi-phase trial was conducted between February 27, 2018 and August 28, 2018 where 1466 patients were randomly assigned either Nurtec or a placebo.  All participants involved in the study were over 18 years old, were recruited to one of 69 different study centers across the country, and had at least a one year history of migraines.  In this study for the acute treatment of migraines, a 75 mg dose of Nurtec was effective at preventing this potentially debilitating condition. The most common adverse side effects were nausea, although this happened in less than two percent of participants. Additionally, no major safety concerns were observed.

Another study conducted between November of 2018 and August of 2019 looked at Nurtec not “as needed” but as a preventive.  In that study 747 participants were tested, with roughly half getting Nurtec, and the remaining participants receiving a placebo.  The study found that Nurtec, taken every other day, lessened the mean number of migraine days per month and identified no serious safety issues.

When you consider that another recent study that indicated that 90% of those people who suffer from migraines are unable to function normally during an attack, this is news that couldn’t have come along at a better time.

Millions of people worldwide suffer from this condition daily, and nearly all of them stand to benefit from what a proactive, preventative medication like Nurtec has to offer. When you consider just how far the treatment of migraines has come in even just the last five years, it’s truly exciting to think about what the next five may have in store for us all.

Contact the Will Erwin Headache Research Center Today

Since its inception, the Will Erwin Headache Research Center has been dedicated to studying various types of headaches – all in the name of bringing relief to those suffering around the world from debilitating headaches – including migraine and cluster headaches – all while working as hard as possible to find a cure.

If you’d like to help by donating to the Will Erwin Headache Research Center to find a cure for these and related conditions, please don’t delay – contact us today.