Migraine is one of the most common neurological diseases in the world and occurs in a ratio of three women to every man (Reuters)
“My head is breaking” is a common colloquial phrase among migraine sufferers. This ailment is much more than a “simple” headache, it is an acute disorder that in advanced stages can be seriously disabling. It affects 1 in 7 people worldwide, of which 2% suffer from it chronically.
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It is characterized by the presence of a headache of moderate or severe intensity, it is pulsatile (generates the sensation that the head is beating) and is generally felt on only one side of the head. Stress, stimuli such as intense noises and smells, extreme fluctuations in temperature and self-medication can be daily triggers of this discomfort.
On the International Day of Action against Migraine, which is celebrated every September 12, the good news is that just a few days ago – as Infobae anticipated – the first medication for the prevention and treatment of this ailment, which affects mostly to women.
“Underdiagnosis of headache is very common. It is estimated that more than 90% of the population had a headache at some point in their lives, which does not mean that it is adequately addressed. According to published studies, only 40% of people with chronic headaches are diagnosed and of those, only 26% begin adequate treatment,” said Dr. Daniel Gestro (MN 97150), from the Neurology Division of the Hospital de Clínicas de the University of Buenos Aires.
According to the WHO, 40% of migraine patients suffer more than one attack per month, which last more than 24 hours in 50% of cases (Illustrative Image Infobae)
Migraine, also known as migraine, is a particular form of headache that occurs most frequently between the ages of 20 and 40, generally beginning at puberty. Of every four people with migraine, three are women, which is attributed to hormonal influence, particularly estrogen.
Among the main causes, the neurologist at the Hospital de Clínicas pointed out that it is a genetic disorder, associated with very varied issues, ranging from sudden changes in temperature (intense heat), in barometric pressure or altitude, to intense sensory stimuli. (bright lights, loud noises, intense aromas: perfumes, incense sprays, solvents, etc.)
When the pain comes on suddenly and is intense, if it persists on a specific side of the head, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as visual disturbances, tingling sensations or speech problems, it is extremely important to consult a doctor.
Furthermore, Dr. Gestro warned about the frequency with which people choose to take different over-the-counter drugs without consulting their doctor, and this tendency toward self-medication can lead to excessive consumption of painkillers.
Many people self-medicate with painkillers to relieve the pain associated with migraine attacks (Getty)
In Argentina, the National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT) last week approved the first medication for the prevention and treatment of migraine, both to relieve pain in acute episodes and to prevent them. It is a prescription medication that must be prescribed by the doctor.
The drug, called rimegepant, is now available in the country and was shown to reduce migraine days by 50% in half of the patients after three months of treatment. The treatment is already used in different parts of the world, since it was approved in 2020 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States and in April 2022 by the health authority of the European Community (EMA).
Developed by Pfizer, this medication is the first approved both to treat migraine pain and to prevent migraine episodes. It works by blocking the activity of the CGRP receptor, a compound related to sensitivity to sensory stimuli, thus attacking one of the main causes of migraine pain.
The approved indication includes the treatment of people over 18 years of age with acute migraine, with or without aura and regardless of the number of episodes they have per month, and also preventively in those adults with “episodic migraine”, which is that which appears up to 15 days a month.
Studies have shown that a single dose of rimegepant can provide rapid pain relief to people with migraine, which in many patients can last up to 72 hours.
09/11/2020 Migraine SPAIN EUROPE MADRID HEALTH TECH SALES COMMUNICATION
1 – Record on a calendar the days with headache and the amount of medications consumed. If there are more than six a month, it is crucial to consult a doctor
2 – Maintain a regular food intake, at least every three hours
3- Ensure a consistent sleep pattern and try to sleep the same number of hours per night
4 – Perform aerobic physical activity daily and at a similar schedule
5 – Identify possible foods or drinks that may be related to migraine episodes