Blurring the Lines Between Acute and Prevention Migraine Treatment: Andrea S. Synowiec, DO, FAAN


The system vice chair for the department of neurology at Allegheny Health Network discussed the shift in migraine treatment over the past few years with the approval of new therapies and allowing patients more options for their health. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"As a physician, talking to patients and trying to help them feel comfortable and motivated to do what they need to do for their health, blurring of the lines between migraine and preventive treatment, has been wonderful.

Migraine, a common primary headache disorder, requires a comprehensive care approach involving both pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies. Treatments for migraine typically fall into 2 main categories which are acute treatments, providing pain relief during attacks, and preventive therapies, reducing attack frequency and severity. Specific medications like triptans and ergots target migraine, while others like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory therapies and opioids provide nonspecific relief during an attack. Preventive options include β-blockers, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, and antiepileptic medications, which collectively provide relief from the debilitating effects of migraine.1

Over the past few years, the FDA has approved several new treatments for patients with migraine which has expanded the landscape of care in headache medicine. These newer treatments include Biohaven’s rimegepant (Nurtec ODT) and Theranica’s Nerivio, a remote electrical neuromodulation (REN) device, among others. In May 2021, the FDA approved 75-mg rimegepant for the preventive treatment of migraine, adding to its prior indication for the acute treatment of the headache disorder, and marking it as the first oral calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonist to be approved for prevention and the first to be approved for both acute and preventive therapy.2 In February 2023, the FDA approved Nerivio as a dual-use acute and preventive treatment for migraine with or without aura in patients 12 years of age or older.3

In a recent interview with NeurologyLive®, Andrea S. Synowiec, DO, FAAN, system vice chair for the department of neurology at Allegheny Health Network, and associate professor of neurology at Drexel University, discussed how recent advancements in migraine treatment have transformed the traditional distinctions between acute or attack and preventive therapies. Synowiec also talked about the role of innovative devices like the remote electronic neuromodulator and CGRP receptor antagonists in providing effective options for both acute and preventive migraine treatment. In addition, she spoke about how flexible strategies in the latest migraine treatments are empowering patients to take more control of their healthcare decisions.

1. Miller S. The acute and preventative treatment of episodic migraine. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2012;15(Suppl 1):S33-S39. doi:10.4103/0972-2327.99998
2. FDA Approves Biohaven's NURTEC® ODT (rimegepant) for Prevention: Now the First and Only Migraine Medication for both Acute and Preventive Treatment. News release. May 27, 2021. Accessed December 13, 2023.
3. Theranica's Nerivio Cleared by FDA for Preventive Treatment of Migraine. Theranica. News Release. Published February 28, 2023. Accessed December 13, 2023.
Related Videos
Michael Levy, MD, PhD
Michael Kaplitt, MD, PhD
Michael Kaplitt, MD, PhD
video 4 - "Amyloid Cascade Hypothesis of Alzheimer’s Disease"
Video 3 - "Amyloid Precursor Protein and Amyloid Beta Species in Alzheimer’s Disease"
Svetlana Blitshteyn, MD, FAAN, director and founder of Dysautonomia Clinic
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.