I hope this finds you enjoying your summer. In this newsletter, I would like to share with you a new treatment we now offer for migraine and cluster headache. In addition, I will review & update current treatment options.
Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block
The SPG is the largest group of neurons (nerve cells) outside the brain and can be reached via the nose. In the past, Q-tips were used and after being soaked with a numbing (anesthetic) medication were inserted far back into the nose to try to reach the SPG. However, this process caused nasal discomfort and was not precise in getting to the SPG. As a result, SPG blocks did not become common in a headache practice.
Dr. Tian Xia, a pain specialist and anesthesiologist, has invented the Tx360. It is a patented device that inserts into each nostril and contains a small, flexible, soft plastic tube that is advanced into the nose and is able to reach the SPG. It delivers a precise amount of anesthetic medication (Bupivacaine .3 cc) to each SPG. It is overall well tolerated and can be performed in 5 minutes in the office setting. By blocking the SPG, the migraine path can be blocked and the patient can get relief from their migraine. To see an animation of the SPG procedure, go to www.tianmedical.com.
It would not be necessary for anyone to drive you to the office. You can drive yourself after the procedure, as it is non-narcotic and non-sedating. This procedure can help to treat a bad headache and can also be done as a preventive treatment. For best results for prevention, it would be necessary to come in 2 times per week for 3-6 weeks.
Eye-Brain Update: For a limited amount of time, the Eye Brain Medical Center has agreed to treat our patients at no charge. Candidates include patients having daily lowgrade headache that worsens as the day progresses and is aggravated by prolonged reading or working on the computer. In addition, dry eyes and sensitivity to light are common symptoms that cause what has been termed “Eye-Graine”. This type of headache is not the same as migraine; the cause is felt to be from the eyes not working well together. If a patient is screened and felt to be a candidate for treatment at the Eye Brain Medical Center (located in Orange, CA), then they are fitted with NeuroLenses (glasses with prisms in them to help the eyes work better together). For more information, go to www.eyebrainmedical.com
CGRP Clinical Trial Available: CGRP Monoclonal Antibodies for migraine prevention appear to be very promising and were discussed in the last newsletter. This treatment is only available through clinical trials until FDA approved. If interested, call the following research coordinators: Mark Gonzalez 714-774-7777 (Anaheim) or Shelly Asbill 562-304-1759(Long Beach)
Cefaly Headband: This FDA-approved device for migraine is working well for many of our patients. We now offer a free 20 minute demo if interested. In addition, we have 3 units available to rent. For more information, see the description in our last newsletter and visit www.Cefaly.us
Treximet: This acute migraine medication is a combination of Sumatriptan and Naprosyn and works better than either medication by itself. Through a special program with Newport Lido Pharmacy, it is now available to most of our patients for $20 or less for 9 tablets. Newport Lido will ship to you at no charge.
Sumavel Dose Pro: Sumatriptan 6 mg injectable needle-free is now available through Newport Lido as well for a reasonable cost for most patients. This needle-free injection is a great way to rescue a severe migraine or cluster headache. Trokendi XR: This name brand Topamax does not cause the mental sluggishness/word retrieval problems that generic Topamax causes. It was discussed in the last newsletter. It is now available through Newport Lido for as low as zero co-pay for many patients.
Wherever your summer travels take you, I wish you a very pleasant rest of your summer. I look forward to seeing you to review your current headache management plan!
Susan Hutchinson, MD Director-Orange County Migraine & Headache Center