Published by BBC NEWS - 31st May 2023
  • Published
Woman having a migraineImage source, Getty Images

The NHS is set to offer a medicated wafer that dissolves under the tongue to help prevent debilitating migraines.

Rimegepant, taken every other day, will be available only to adults who have tried at least three other preventative drugs and still have migraines on between four and 15 days every month.

It stops a protein that causes severe pain being released around the brain.

About 145,000 people a year could be offered it – but campaigners say some who could benefit may miss out.

Injections can target the same protein, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) – but this is the first oral option. And other medications – including beta-blockers, antidepressants and epilepsy drugs – do not work for everyone.

‘Invisible disability’

Rimegepant has been backed by the National Institutes of Health and Care Excellence, which makes decisions on drugs in England and whose recommendations are normally adopted in Wales and Northern Ireland.

NICE medicines-evaluation director Helen Knight said migraines were often an “invisible disability” and “blighted” millions of lives.

“Rimegepant is the first oral treatment for migraine to be recommended by NICE – and for many thousands of people, it is likely to be a welcome and more convenient addition to existing options for a condition that is often overlooked and undertreated,” she added.

About one out of every seven people in the UK is thought to be affected by some level of migraine – and they are more common among women.

Prof Peter Goadsby, from King’s College London, said: “Today’s decision offers an important advance in treatment options for those who do not respond or cannot tolerate current treatments.”

The Migraine Trust welcomed the decision but was “disappointed” the drug was not being made more widely available for treating migraines once they start.

The charity’s chief executive, Rob Music, said: “This would make a huge difference to people affected by medication-overuse headache, those who are unable to take other acute treatments and who have not responded well to the currently available acute treatments.”




Tel: +44 (0) 141 946 6482

Address: Healthcare Skills Training International Ltd
West of Scotland Science Park
Block 7, Kelvin Campus
Glasgow G20 0SP


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from Healthcare Skills International . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact