Call for life changing migraine drug to be offered on NHS

People who suffer from chronic migraines are calling for a new drug to be offered in the NHS in the UK.

A monthly injection of Aimovig has been described as ‘life-changing’ by those who have tried it.

How does Aimovig work?

The drug reportedly acts to prevent migraines. In your body you have CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) and CGRP receptors. CGRP attaches to and activates the receptor, which may play a key role in migraine. Aimovig blocks the CGRP receptor so it can’t attach to it.

Migraines affect around 1 in 7 people, according to the National Migraine Centre. Women tend to suffer with migraines more than men and it usually starts to affect people when they become teenagers.

  • 1 in 5 women experience them
  • 1 in 15 men experience them
  • Some people with migraines will also see visual disturbances, known as aura. This can cause people to see stars, flashing lights and in some cases people can experience temporary blindness.
  • Others may feel dizzy, get pins and needles or even sickness.

There is no known cure for migraines, but many people will treat them with over the counter painkillers.

Dr Jess Briscoe from the National Migraine Centre, explained:

“We tend to borrow things from other areas of medicine.

“Heart medication, anxiety medication – epilepsy medication we use a lot.”

But she hopes that Aimovig, will be able to help many people who suffer with debilitating migraines.

The BBC have reported that Dr Giorgio Lumbru from Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is already prescribing the drug at its Chronic Pain Management and Neuromodulation Centre.

“For the first time we have a specific treatment designed for migraine that works really well.

“The drug is injected under the skin once a month and it acts as a preventative treatment.

“If you look at data you see patients that fail all the other treatments can have their life back when they use Aimovig.”


Text References

McCallum, S – BBC Newsbeat. (2019). Migraines: Calls for ‘life changing’ drug Aimovig on NHS in England. Accessible: Last Accessed: 28 May 2019.

Speare-Cole, R – Evening Standard. (2019). Migraine sufferers call for ‘life changing’ drug to be made available on NHS. Accessible: Last Accessed: 28 May 2019.

Sharkey, L. – Bustle. (2019). Why is Aimovig not available everywhere in the UK? The new migraine drug has limited distribution. Accessible: Last Accessed: 3 June 2019.