New Options for Migraine, Headache Management

New delivery methods of medication and newer molecular entities for treatment offer hope for headache management.

LAS VEGAS — The past decade has yielded exciting developments in treating headaches and migraines, and new treatment options are emerging.

Several speakers—including Richard Lipton, MD, and Matthew S. Robbins, MD, both of Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Sheena K. Aurora, MD, of Stanford University—discussed some of these developments at a session here as part of the chronic migraine education program.

“An explosion in new treatment options, different modalities for delivering headache medication, and possible ways to prevent the onset of headache represent unique opportunities for clinicians to treat their patients with headache,“ Dr. Lipton said.

RELATED: The Refill: How Anesthesiologists, Pain Medicine Specialists Can Demonstrate Value — Part 1

New delivery methods of older therapies—including patches, inhalers, nasal sprays, and a variety of devices—are allowing for faster medication delivery. These delivery methods offer some advantages over older treatments in that they offer a way to bypass the gastrointestinal system, which is advantageous for patients with chronic headaches who also have stomach issues.  

There are also newer molecular entities in development that have advantages over existing treatments.

On the topic of headache and migraine diagnosis, Dr. Robbins explained that it is important to diagnose disorders in the syndromic group, identify primary headache syndrome, and also exclude secondary headache.