Thankful For...The New Nerivio for Migraine!
It can be challenging to go through the holiday season while living with a disease like migraine. Sometimes we have to dig deep to ponder on the things we are thankful for! And yet, now more than ever before there is reason to be thankful! Not only are there new medications expected to be available soon, but just as exciting, there is a new non-medication treatment option: Nerivio by Theranica!
What if this is a life-changer for you?
One of the things that I have personally followed closely is the emergence of non-invasive medical devices for migraine. As with all other treatment options, nothing works for everyone, but everything seems to work for someone. Hopefully, that makes sense! Since you won’t know unless you try, a fairly good approach is the following: if it’s accessible, affordable, approved by your doctor, and seems to be tolerable, then what is there to lose by trying? Maybe you will find a fabulous new option for migraine treatment!
This was my thought as I finally received my brand new Nerivio device by Theranica this past week. Interestingly enough, the Nerivio was named as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Best Inventions for 2019.1 This only added to my excitement!
What if…this actually helps me?
What if…I could take less rescue medication?
What if…this really could be a valuable option to add to my toolbox for migraine?
What if…this is actually a life-changer for me and for others?!
What is the Nerivio device?
In short, Nerivio is a drug-free, wearable therapeutic device for the treatment of migraine attacks. It is non-addictive, non-invasive, drug-free, and personalizes to each user. The device is worn on the arm and controlled using a smartphone app. Once started on a session, it provides nociceptive stimulation that travels up from the arm and on to the brainstem. This stimulates the body’s own natural pain inhibition pathways, causing the release of serotonin and norepinephrine.
Each device has a battery life that allows for twelve 45-minute treatments which can be used as works best for you. For those who are episodic, the device should last at least a month and possibly more. Obviously that would depend on how many actual migraine attacks you get each month.
How did the Nerivio device perform in clinical trials?
In the clinical trials for episodic migraine, 66.7% of patients achieved pain relief at 2 hours and 37% were completely pain-free. In addition, 46.3% achieved relief of their most bothersome symptom by 2 hours (nausea, photo/phonophobia), with 40.7% complete relief. Even more exciting, 96.4% of the participants did not report any device-related side effects. Those side effects which were seen were both very mild and resolved quickly after the treatment. It is also great to know that not a single participant discontinued the clinical trials due to side effects.2
Ongoing trials for adolescents and adults
If you’re like me and have chronic migraine, then you’re probably wondering right now: what about me? Is it only for episodic migraine? Also, what about minors? The answer is that so far, the only completed trials were for adults with episodic migraine. That is why the device information states that it’s only for episodic migraine. As far as chronic migraine goes, all we have right now are anecdotal reports, but those are looking to be extremely positive.
In addition, there are ongoing clinical trials for adults with chronic migraine3 as well as for adolescents with episodic migraine!4 If you or your adolescent child are interested in participating in one of those trials, you can go to www.clinicaltrials.gov and do a search for Nerivio! (Send an email to the contact person for each location.)
Access to the Nerivio
The Nerivio is priced to ideally be accessible to the maximum number of patients. That means both those using commercial insurance as well as those on government-funded plans. It costs $99 per device and is only currently available via prescription from QuickCare Pharmacy which ships for free throughout the USA. For those who have commercial insurance, there is a one-month free trial available through participating headache specialists’ offices. For those who are on government-funded programs, don’t worry, you’re not forgotten! Those participating doctors’ offices should have samples available for those who have no access to the free trial program.
Bearing in mind that this is the first and only migraine device granted the “De Novo classification”5 by the FDA, there are remarkably few contraindications. The Nerivio should not be used by people with congestive heart failure, severe cardiac or cerebrovascular disease, uncontrolled epilepsy, or active implantable medical devices. It has also not been evaluated in pregnancy so far. For those not familiar with the De Novo classification. This can be given by the FDA to a low-to-moderate risk medical device that does not have a substantially equivalent predicate device.
Could Nerivio be for you?
I recently received my device and am in the process of trying it out. It's certainly made my holiday season brighter and more hopeful! As someone who can’t take either triptans or DHE, I’ve been desperately waiting for a migraine abortive option. To have an option that is also drug-free is especially exciting.
So what about you? Have you ever tried a non-invasive device for migraine? Are you interested in trying out the Nerivio? Does this give you hope for the chance of a better life? Let me know what you think and if you're interested, talk with your doctor about giving it a try!
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