Dealing with chronic migraines can be a real challenge. The throbbing or pulsating pain felt on the side of your head can sometimes be just too much to bear.
And if you have ever had a migraine headache, you will know all too well that they can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. To make the whole experience worse, they can also make you feel nauseous, sensitive to light and sound, and affect your vision.
The American Migraine Foundation estimates that around 39 million Americans suffer from migraines. If you are one of them, migraine injections may be the solution to relieve your pain.
Contact our headache specialists and schedule an appointment at Virgin Islands Neurology today! Our team of doctors in the U.S. Virgin Islands can help you relieve your migraine pain.
Migraine injections are an effective way of treating chronic migraine headaches. This type of migraine treatment works by interfering with molecules in the nervous system that sends pain signals to the brain.
One molecule that has been identified to trigger migraines and increase their severity is calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). This molecule is released during migraines and promotes the widening of blood vessels in the head, which worsens headache pain and swelling.
There are several medications that have been made to hinder CGRP activity, either by blocking the molecule or by blocking the receptors.
There are several injectable medicines available for treating migraines. All the injections mentioned in this article are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent chronic migraines in adults.
Aimovig (Erenumab) works by blocking CGRP receptors instead of binding to CGRP. Clinical trials showed that one injection per month reduced the number of migraine days.
Ajovy (Fremanezumab-vfrm) is another anti-CGRP migraine injection. You can take the medicine either every month or every 3 months. Trials showed that Ajovy reduced the number of headache days each month for people with regular migraine attacks.
Vyepti (Eptinezumab) is a monoclonal antibody that blocks CGRP activity to prevent migraines. This medicine is administered intravenously (IV) each month. Trials showed that those who suffer from chronic headaches will have 8 fewer headache days a month using Vypti.
Emgality (Galcanezumab-gnlm) is another monthly injection that is anti-CGRP. It can be used to prevent migraines as well as episodic cluster headaches. Episodic cluster headaches usually occur around the same time of day over a period of several weeks or months and are very painful. Clinical trials showed Emgality reduced the number of cluster headaches by 8.7 per week.
Botulinum toxin (Botox, Dysport, Myobloc, and Xeomin) works by interrupting the pathway of pain transmission between the brain (central nervous system) and nerves that extend from the spinal cord. Researchers think that when the drug is injected into the muscles around the face, head, and neck, it is taken up by the nerves and interferes with pain-associated neurotransmission.
Most people who take these injections do not experience side effects. They have proven to be a safe and effective way to reduce migraines in people between the ages of 18 and 65. That being said, some people who have used anti-CGRP medicines have reported the following mild to moderate side effects:
Those that have used botulinum toxin medicines may also experience the following mild symptoms:
In very rare cases, anti-CGRP medications could cause an allergic reaction. You should seek immediate medical help if you have any of the following symptoms after the injection:
If you have taken a botulinum toxin injection, there is a rare possibility that it could spread to other parts of the body. If it does, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should be aware of the following symptoms:
Contact our migraine specialists today and schedule an appointment at Virgin Islands Neurology. Our highly-trained doctors in the U.S. Virgin Islands look forward to helping you get the relief you’re looking for.
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