More Frequent Migraines During Peri-menopause: Study

Menopause and Migraines

Study Shows Increase In Attacks During Menopause Transition (1)

A first of it’s kind study conducted by researchers at the University of Cincinnati Headache and Facial Pain Program shows conclusive proof that there is a recordable increase in the number of migraine episodes in women undergoing peri-menopause.

Peri-menopause is a phase of transitioning menopause. It could begin several months to years before actual menopause and is characterized by the woman experiencing some or all of symptoms such as irregular periods, fatigue, hot flashes, memory lapses, dry vagina, loss of libido, thinning of bones, incontinence, mood swings and breast tenderness etc. (2) All this is caused primarily due to the drop in the levels of female reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

It was seen that headache instances rose during both peri-menopause and menopause when compared to pre-menopause. Pre-menopause was characterized by regular periods. As per Vincent T. Martin, M.D who is a professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati, “Ours is the first study to demonstrate that the frequency of migraine attacks increases during the menopausal transition. The results of our study validate the belief by many women that their headaches worsen during the transition into menopause” (3)

Summary of the research study is as follows:

Particulars Numbers Comments
Total Women studied 3,603
Age range (women) 35 -65 years
Group classification
  1. High Frequency >10 episodes a month
  2. Low-Mod frequency < 10 attacks a month
Analysis classification
  1. 34% – premenopausal
  2. 35% – perimenopausal
  3. 30% – menopausal
  4. High Freq was 50-60% more common in perimenpausal and menopausal women

 

According to Richard B. Lipton, M.D., professor of Neurology and director of the Montefiore Headache Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “Given that migraines tend to worsen during menstruation, it may seem paradoxical that when periods become irregular during the peri-menopause or absent during menopause that headache become more frequent. We believe that both declining estrogen levels that occur at the time of menstruation as well as low estrogen levels that are encountered during the menopause are triggers of migraine in some women.” (3)

SOURCES

  1. Young Woman Suffering From Headache By Stock Images; FreeDigitalPhotos; Web August 2014; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/young-woman-suffering-from-headache-photo-p171720
  2. Menopause Health Center – Perimenopause; Web MD; Web August 2014; http://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/guide-perimenopause
  3. Women with Migraines Experience More Headaches During The Menopausal Transition; Science Daily News; Web August 2014; sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624215851.htm

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Launch of Migraine Patch Zecuity Delayed: NuPathe Inc.

nupathe-patch

 

NuPathe Delays The Launch Of Zecuity To Early 2014 (1)

The innovative neuroscience solutions company NuPathe Inc. has announced a delay in the launch of it’s product – a migraine patch that is worn directly on the skin of the upper arm, called Zecuity. The product that was expected to hit the market near the end of this year has now been shifted to early 2014. NuPathe had obtained FDA approval for the marketing of Zecuity earlier this year.

Zecuity is basically a drug delivery system. To be precise it is a sumatriptan iontophoretic trans-dermal system, i.e. it delivers sumatriptan via the skin route using the process of iontophoresis. Iontophoresis involves the delivering of a drug through the skin using low electrical current and so the Zecuity skin patch is embedded with two coin cell lithium batteries which regulate the quantity of current applied and sumatriptan delivered (2). So far, sumatriptan has been known to be delivered through the oral route as pills, injections or as spray via the nasal route. Zecuity is safe for the treatment of acute migraines on patients with or without aura.

Without going into details, the NuPathe CEO Armando Anido, “NuPathe has made substantial progress [toward] securing a partner to maximize the commercial potential of Zecuity. We believe that puts us in a good position to secure a commercial partner and while we have made progress on the partnership and manufacturing fronts, in order to extend our cash runway, we are limiting and delaying certain sales and marketing activities” (3)

However caution is to be exercised with the use of Zecuity if the migraine patient is already on Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Selective Norepinephrine Inhibitors (SNRIs) or has previously existing conditions such as epilepsy, cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke), diabetes or high cholesterol levels, pregnant or undergoing menopause. (4)

SOURCES

  1. Image Credits: ZECUITY Electronic Drug Patch for Acute Migraines Approved in U.S.Medgadget.com; November 2013; http://www.medgadget.com/2013/01/zecuity-electronic-drug-patch-for-acute-migraines-approved-in-u-s.html
  2. Zecuity; RxList.com; Web November 2013; http://www.rxlist.com/zecuity-drug.htm
  3. NuPathe delays launch of migraine patch; Healthcare Inc. Philadelphia – BizJournal.com; Web November 2013; http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/blog/health-care/2013/11/nupathe-delays-launch-of-migraine-patch.html
  4. Zecuity; zecuity.com; Web November 2013; http://www.zecuity.com/

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