BOSTON (CBS) – A slim headband that promises big relief for migraine sufferers will start shipping to patients in the United States this month.
Dr. Andrea Synowiec of the AGH neurology department told WBZ-TV’s Dr. Malika Marshall that she expects migraine patients are excited by the news.
“People who really suffer with migraine are frequently in the emergency room, because they don’t have something that sort of consistently helps,” she said.
The FDA-approved battery operated headband called Cefaly, delivers small pulses of electro-magnetic waves to stimulate the trigeminal nerve — which senses pain in the face and parts of the head.
A clinical trial of 67 migraine sufferers found that patients who used the headbands for 20 minutes a day needed less medication and had fewer migraines.
“It’s a novel way of looking at treatment, something that is non-pharmacologic,” said Synowiec, who noted that some people feel sick when they take pills for migraines.
The headband costs $300 and since it was only just approved, doctors are still learning about the device.
“As larger groups of people are exposed to the treatment, it will become more apparent what is a big game changer and what really doesn’t have much of an impact,” Synowiec said.
Some patients did not like the feel of the electrodes and others had an allergic reaction to the adhesive.
The band is not covered by insurance but patients still need a doctor’s prescription if they want to give it a try.
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