An pipe-like puffer device that blasts powderised medication up the nose may get you off the migraine pain in less than 2 hours.
The powder works faster than established oral drugs, as you do not have to wait for your body to digest them.
Migraines affect 1 in 4 female and 1 in 12 male in the United Kingdom.
Among the downsides of conventional oral treatments is that they can take up to half an hour for the first signs of relief. Trials of the new puffer show the drug reached the bloodstream in a few minutes — and nearly six out of ten patients who tested it were completely pain-free after two hours.
The drug used is a powdered form of triptan, a medicine widely used in pill form to treat migraine.
This is loaded into one end of the V-shaped puffer device which is inserted into one nostril — the other end of the device is put in the mouth.
When the patient exhales through the mouth, the powder is blown up the nostril. Here, it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream via tiny blood vessels just below the surface on the inside of the nose.
From there it is quickly carried to the trigeminal nerve, one of the main nerves from the nose to the brain. The drug provides relief by blocking pain signals.
Triptan also appears to cause the blood vessels around the brain to contract — which is important as migraines are caused by the sudden dilation of these vessels, sometimes in response to triggers such as alcohol or stress.
The puffer device is specially designed so it deposits the powder on the rear surface of the nasal passage — the optimum site for treating migraines.
In a trial of the new device (which was developed by OptiNose), 54 per cent of men and women taking a 10mg dose and 57% of those given a 20mg dose did not have pain after just two hours.
Commenting on this, Dr Andrew Dowson, chairman of Migraine Action’s medical advisory board, said: ‘This is very clever technology which is a new way of delivering an established migraine drug. It works more effectively and more quickly, and has fewer side effects.
‘Oral drugs can take half an hour to start working, but with nasal delivery it can be in the blood in five minutes.’ Another potential new migraine treatment is inhaling carbon dioxide.
New research from the
United States. Indicates it could provide fast relief from migraine pain, without any serious side effects.
In one previous study at Harvard involving 160 migraine sufferers, 30% of those who would been given carbon dioxide comprised free from pain after just 2 hours, compared with 9% of those given a placebo.
It is not so far understood exactly how the carbon dioxide treatment acts, but men of science consider the gas interferes with the infection of pain signals along the trigeminal nerve.
Directly in a new clinical trial about 450 adult male* and adult female* with check to severe migraine conditions will be afforded the treatment to test its efficacy.
In the trial, being conducted at eight American centres, patients will be given a pen-like device loaded with the gas or a placebo.
If they feel a migraine advancing, they squirt a puff of the gas into one nostril, then hold their breath for a minute; this means the gas isn’t inhaled into the lungs, where they’re not required, just comes in one nostril from where it can pass into the trigeminal nerve before passing out of the other nostril.
The patients will have the device, which has been developed by U.S.-based Capnia Corporation, for two months and keep a diary of the number of migraines headaches and the severity of migraines symptoms before and after treatments.
n MIGRAINES in children and young people are being tackled with a powdered supplement.
The supplement holds an cocktail of compounds, including coenzyme Q10, blueberries, blackcurrant and magnesium, and are being applied in a test with kids and adolescents at the University of Essen in Germany.
The investigators say that migraine in young people could be associated with low levels of coenzyme q10, a compound created by nature in the body that supercharges energy, enhances the resistant system and acts like an antioxidant — fighting radicals which could cause cell harm in the body.
They consider that the supplement, called Migra3, can lower the chance of migraine’s crushing pain. ‘We consider that daily supplement of coenzyme Q10, together with different antioxidative chemicals from berries and specific minerals and vitamins, is capable to reduce the amount of days kids have migraines,’ they say.