Every time a new migraine drug gets FDA approval, patients want to know if it is a breakthrough solution. Here’s a spoiler – it’s still not a cure, and there are some pretty rough side effects. On the other hand, it was able to mitigate symptoms other than the headache itself in clinical trials. Som as far as symptomatic treatment is concerned, this may be a step up from predecessors.
What we are going to do is present to you some information about this new drug that can help you to see what it does. Then, for those of you who prefer natural care, we will also take a look at a natural alternative that has been flying under the radar for years and providing relief for some migraineurs in case studies.
What Does Lasmiditan Migraine Drug Do?
The FDA released a statement regarding lasmiditan on October 11, 2019, that reveals this drug has been approved for acute treatment of migraines. That means a patient takes it when symptoms arise in order to try and quell an existing migraine. The FDA did not approve this medication for any sort of preventative care.
How Does Lasmiditan Work?
Lasmiditan attacks migraines in two ways. First of all, it goes after the neurological side of the condition. It does this by activating serotonin receptors. This releases the neurotransmitter, which in turn improves your mood and makes you feel less pain.
The second thing the drug does is affect the electrical pathways in the central nervous system. It seems to be an improvement over other acute migraine drugs, including triptans and dihydroergotamines, that constrict the blood vessels. It may make this a better prescription for patients with cardiovascular problems who should not be taking a vasoconstrictor, assuming you don’t mind changes to the electrical pathways in your brain.
How Did It Perform in Trials?
In one study, 48.7% of patients saw significant improvement in sensory sensitivities and nausea (as opposed to 33.5% in the placebo group) after a dose of 200 mg. With the same dosage, 38.8% report that the migraine ultimately ended within two hours of medicating (as opposed to 21.3% in the placebo group).
The Positive Takeaways
Some migraineurs might be willing to take anything to have a 1 in 3 shot of the migraine ending within two hours. Some might even deal with side effects for a nearly 1 in 2 chance of having nausea and sensory sensitivities go away.
The Negative Takeaways
The drug only performed about 15-17% better than a placebo. For some patients, a migraine only lasts a few hours. You may not want to deal with the side effects in order to curb your migraine by just a few minutes or hours.
The Side Effects of Lasmiditan
The study noted above saw the best results, but it also included the highest dosage. The higher the dose, the more side effects that patients experienced. Some of the most common side effects include:
- Nausea (one of the exact symptoms patients were trying to get rid of)
- Sleepiness and tiredness (a patient should see how they react to this drug before driving a vehicle)
- Muscle weakness
Is This New Medication Right for You?
While that is a decision for you to make along with a doctor, what you have just read may have you considering a natural alternative first. Or, even if you would like to have some acute medication on hand to deal with a migraine, you may also be looking for a way to reduce how often they happen in the first place. Either way, we would like to introduce you to upper cervical specific chiropractic care as a possible way to receive help.
What Is Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic?
Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the top two bones of the neck. These vertebrae balance the head, protect the brainstem, and facilitate proper blood flow to the brain. In short, their location is crucial to the proper functioning of the central nervous system as a whole. Therefore, it makes sense for migraines to be a possible outcome when a misalignment exists, even if it is seemingly very minor.
Upper cervical chiropractors, therefore, take exact measurements of these bones and provide gentle adjustments, tailored to each patient. In the end, this has provided benefits for some by relieving the underlying factors that may contribute to the onset of migraines.
Is Upper Cervical Chiropractic Right for You?
The practitioner will take x-rays before making any adjustments. However, it would be rare for a situation to exist that is so serious it makes a gentle correction unwise. For most patients, adjustments are more frequent at first when the surrounding soft tissue is stabilizing. If you find that your C1 and C2 are usually in alignment when you come in for an exam, your practitioner will recommend that you spread your appointments out. This is cost-effective for you.
If you are experiencing migraines regularly, especially if you have a history of head or neck injuries, we encourage you to look into upper cervical chiropractic care. It is always worth pursuing natural relief, especially when there are little to no potential side effects. At most, you may experience a little soreness as your body gets used to the adjustments. Really, if you can reduce how often your migraines occur, for a fraction of the side effects that come from medications, it is worth a try.