Migraines have proven to be extremely tricky to treat with recent studies indicating that those suffering from migraines are increasingly dissatisfied with their treatment plan. Many doctors today are relying on drugs that can have strong negative side effects (such as opioids). As if the side effects were not bad enough, these drugs can only work once the migraine has begun which still leaves the sufferer in pain until they kick in. There is a new drug gaining popularity among doctors that claims to prevent migraines from beginning in the first place and it looks like it may be approved by the FDA as soon as next year.

Portrait of stressed young woman with a migraine

How It Works

It is important to understand that migraines stem from abnormal stimuli interacting with your trigeminal nerve which in turn leads to the release of vasodilators. Vasodilators cause the blood vessels surrounding your brain to swell which leads to the migraine pain. This drug works by bonding to a chemical found in the blood called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) which is released from one nerve cell and jumps to another during a migraine attack. When the drug binds to CGRP it prevents the nerve cell from being activated which blocks the pain from ever occurring.

A Miracle Cure?

It is important to remember that this drug is still being tested and has not been approved by the FDA. With all drugs, there are side effects, which have notably not been mentioned in this article. Additionally, there are a wide variety of reasons that migraines can occur, and these other avenues must be explored before deciding on a method of treatment. For example, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) has been linked to migraines. TMJ occurs from a misalignment of the jaw, and this misalignment can pressure or stimulate the trigeminal nerve. While TMJ treatment can be every effective on migraines, it’s not well known, and the Scientific American article doesn’t even mention it in relation to migraine treatment.

If you are looking for a TMJ dentist in the Denver area to help with migraines or other symptoms, please consider Dr. Kevin Berry. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment please call TMJ and Sleep Therapy Center of Colorado at (303) 691-0267.