(WTNH) – Storms like Tropical Storm Elsa, which struck Connecticut this week, bring low-pressure systems that cause migraine headaches in some. A headache doctor from Yale Medicine came to see us Friday to talk about advances in migraine treatment and prevention.
A migraine is a moderate headache that is sensitive to light and sound and lasts for four to 72 hours.
Storms like Elsa bring changes in air pressure, and a migraine brain doesn’t like changes, says Tanya Bilchik, a medical doctor at Yale, a headache neurologist.
“It is more sensitive to changes, be it the weather, whether it is food, stress or hormones.”
Things like poor sleep or the menstrual cycle can also play a role. When storms come, she recommends that migraineurs control what they can: hydration, sleep, no nitrates in hot dogs and hot peppers, no skipping meals.
And now is a new time for migraine solutions.
“We have seen a revolution in treatment and prevention in the past three years. We had injectable migraine prevention drugs and we had new oral drugs that you take as soon as you get a migraine. “
She says some established drugs are used to prevent migraines.
“Anti-hypertension drugs like propranolol, a beta blocker, anti-seizure drugs, Topamax, Depacope, anti-depression drugs that we’ve been using for migraines for years.”
She says some new drugs are monthly – EpiPen shots.
Dr. Bilchick likes a new drug that just came from BioHaven of New Haven.
“It’s called Remajapant and it’s an acute drug that you take as soon as you get a migraine. You have just received approval for migraine prevention. ”
Dr. Bilchik says if you’re experiencing what is being described as “the worst headache of your life,” it may be time to go to an emergency room, especially if you have other symptoms like numbness, weakness, or language problems.