Migraineurs often complain about their current migraine treatment drugs. Although most migraine sufferers have tried multiple treatments–including multiple migraine drugs–few are satisfied with their current treatments.
That’s why people are eagerly watching the development of the newest generation of migraine drugs. These new preventive migraine medications are built around an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of migraines. They cut off the chain of chemicals that trigger migraines, and they seem to be very effective in the most recent round of trials. So effective that some people are predicting that the first one may be approved for sale as early as May of 2018. However, these drugs have been in development a long time, and we aren’t sure the current predictions are any more accurate than those made years ago. However, TMJ treatment may also prevent migraines using the same mechanism, and may be a great alternative to try while we wait for the new drugs to actually be approved.
Is CGRP the “Key” to Migraines?
The two drugs making headlines are both focused on calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which plays a key role in the migraine causal chain. Migraines can be triggered by the release of CGRP from the trigeminal nerve. CGRP causes the expansion of blood vessels in the brain, which leads to pain and other migraine symptoms.
Because of the role of CGRP, researchers have long been looking for ways to inhibit its function, and, hopefully, stop migraines before they start.
Effectiveness of New Drug Trials
Two different drugs for inhibiting CGRP were tested in the current trials. One drug, attaches itself to CGRP and inhibits its function. This is fremanezumab, and it’s been tested for chronic migraine sufferers.
The other drug attaches itself to the CGRP receptors in the brain. This drug is called erenumab, and it’s been tested for treating episodic migraine.
In the fremanezumab trial, chronic migraine sufferers initially experienced about 13 migraine days a month, but saw that number reduced by an average of about 4.5 days per month. People taking the drug monthly saw a slightly higher rate of people experiencing a 50% reduction in migraines, 41% vs. 38%. Still, even 38% seeing their migraine days cut in half with a once-quarterly injection is very promising.
Episodic migraine sufferers initially experienced an average of 8.3 migraine days per month, which dropped by an average of about 3.5 days per month. About 43% of those taking the lower dose saw their migraines cut in half, compared to about 50% for a double dose.
Don’t Wait on new Drugs for Treatment
If you’ve been suffering with migraines, waiting until May for treatment may seem like a long time for treatment. But even if May seems like it’s not too long to wait, remember that this estimate may be highly optimistic. When this class of drugs was first discussed in 2015, people expected they could be approved as soon as 2016. So, it wouldn’t be too surprising if it gets to be 2019 and we’re looking forward to their approval in 2020.
So, instead of waiting on this new generation of drugs, you can start getting treatment for your migraines today. One of the mechanisms that may lead to CGRP release is overstressed or painful jaw muscles, which can overload the trigeminal nerve.
TMJ treatment relaxes tense jaw muscles and reduces tension pain in muscles controlled by the trigeminal nerve.
To learn whether TMJ treatment can help control your migraines and other headaches in the Hilton Head area, please call (843) 706-2999 today for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry.