Last week, the FDA approved the latest migraine medication, Ubrelvy (ubrogepant). This is the latest in a new class of medications that target CGRP (Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide). In this case, though, the drug is the first CGRP-related medication to target the receptors rather than CGRP. As always, there is considerable excitement over the approval of this new migraine treatment. But is this treatment right for you? Here are some factors to consider.
Are You Looking for Acute Migraine Treatment?
The new drug Ubrelvy is an acute migraine treatment. That means it’s designed for rapid relief from migraine pain (~2 hours). If you already have migraine treatments that you take when you experience an attack, then this is not the right drug for you. It’s also not the right drug for you if you are looking for a new way to prevent migraines.
However, it is a good choice for people who either don’t have an acute migraine treatment or don’t like the one they do have. Common reasons people don’t like their current acute migraine treatment are: low effectiveness, slow action, and unpleasant side effects.
Are You Looking for an Oral Drug for Migraine Treatment?
Although the previous round of CGRP-related migraine treatments were highly praised, most of them are injectable drugs. Ubrelvy has an advantage in this department: it’s a pill that you take orally to treat your migraines.
Are You Looking for Drug Treatment for Migraines?
For many people, migraines represent a significant disability. The level of pain and impairment justifies almost any approach to treating them. However, some people might prefer a drug-free approach to migraine treatment. Obviously, Ubrelvy is only appropriate if you are looking for a drug to treat migraines.
Managing Expectations for Migraine Treatment
It’s also important to note that the effectiveness of the new drug is not particularly high, despite its FDA approval. FDA approval was based on the drug’s effectiveness compared to placebo (sugar pill). While Ubrelvy was significantly better than placebo in trials, it didn’t perform in an outstanding fashion.
In a recently published trial, about 21% of people experienced freedom from pain two hours after taking the higher dose of Ubrelvy, compared to 19% that took the lower dose, and 11% that took placebo. All treatments were more effective at achieving freedom from the most troublesome symptom (38% in higher dose, 39% in lower dose, 28% in placebo). In other words, you shouldn’t necessarily expect to get regular relief from this new drug. It might work for you, but it probably won’t. This is no miracle drug.
Drug-Free TMJ Treatment Can Prevent Migraines
One interesting aspect of CGRP is that it’s likely one of the key links between temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ or TMD) and migraines. This peptide is released by the trigeminal nerve during a migraine attack. The trigeminal nerve is the nerve responsible for controlling the jaw muscles, and it’s likely that jaw muscle strain and pain contributes to the overloaded condition that stimulates CGRP release. Treating TMJ can reduce tension in the jaw muscles and reduce the risk of overload in the trigeminal nerve.
We have helped many people achieve relief from migraines with TMJ treatment. If you want to learn more about drug-free migraine prevention in Savannah, GA, please call (912) 234-8282 today for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Durham.