Chronic Migraine and New Abortive Trial
Last updated: April 2023
The muscles in my neck start to get too tight. As I roll my head in a circular motion to ease my neck muscles, I realize my jaw is clenched. I force myself to relax my jaw. The pain is building in my head and I know that this is the start of another migraine.
The major problem comes when trying to decide if I should take one of my abortive medications now or wait until the pain gets worse.
What issues arise because of limited abortives?
With a limited amount of abortives for the month, it is hard to decide to be proactive in treating migraine pain; this is part of my problem. The medication works better when you take it earlier rather than later.
Unfortunately, most abortive medications are limited to between six and nine quantities a month. There is the risk of medication overuse headaches if migraine abortive medications are used too frequently.
This limit has its reasons, but it can put those with chronic migraine in a bind. I have way more migraines a month than I have medication doses.
Which migraine abortives did I try?
A new class of migraine abortive is the CGRP receptor blockers (gepants and mAb). These medications are said to be safer for migraine patients that face cardiovascular issues than the older triptans. Two of these newer medications are Ubrelvy and Nurtec ODT.
- Ubrelvy:The Ubrelvy came as a pill form. I was surprised by the size of this pill. It is a large pill. The Ubrelvy prescription comes with 10 individually packaged pills.
- Nurtec ODT:The Nurtec ODT came as an orally dissolvable tablet. The Nurtec ODT prescription comes in a quantity of 8 individually wrapped dissolvable tablets.
Did Nurtec and Ubrelvy work for me?
For me, these two medications worked similarly. When I took these new abortive medications, I did not get the tingly feeling in my head as I do with the triptan abortives. Unfortunately, these medications did not reduce the severity of my migraine attacks. It felt like I did not take any migraine abortive medications at all. Although these medications did not work for me, everyone’s bodies interact with medications differently.
What works for me?
My old faithful is the sumatriptan injections. I can always feel the medications try to work with these injections, unlike some of the other medications I have tried. The sumatriptan injections may not solve my migraine, but it does try.
There are times when I wish I had an effective migraine pill instead of an injection. Sometimes I am in so much pain from the migraine, that I dread stabbing myself with the epi-pen-like sumatriptan injection. But the sumatriptan pills do not work as effectively as the injection does for me.
Additionally, my doctor was interested in seeing if the newer medications would work better than the standard triptan. My current injection does not always completely relieve the pain. But it works better than any other migraine abortive medication I have tried.
Have you tired the newer CGRP abortive medications? Did they work for you? Do you have an old faithful abortive medication?
In the past year, has insurance made it difficult to get your migraine treatment?