Opioid Epidemic

Will the Opioid Epidemic Ever End?

The opioid epidemic refers to the widespread overuse of opioid drugs, both from illicit sources and from legal prescription medicines. The epidemic started in the United States in the early 1990s and continued into the end of the decade. Over a period of time, the overdose rates of prescription opioid drugs increased dramatically, particularly in people who were already susceptible to pain due to advanced age or illness. Thus, by the mid-2000s there was a burgeoning opioid deficiency problem that was beginning to pose a significant health risk.

History of the Opioid Epidemic

The history of opioids makes clear that the pharmaceutical industry was almost completely responsible for their acceptance among Americans. This was an extremely profitable market, which involved doctors writing prescriptions in extremely large quantities. Doctors would write hundreds, if not thousands, of prescriptions for these powerful, short-term medications each month. After initially prescribing low doses to patients, the number of doctors prescribing high doses of these narcotics soon began to climb, creating a huge consumer base that was both unaware and eager for this new type of medication. By the end of the decade, more than 15 million people had prescriptions for at least one type of opioid drug, and the numbers have continued to grow throughout the opioid epidemic history.

Common Drugs in the Opioid Epidemic

Prescription opioid analgesics such as oxycodone and morphine are most often given to chronic patients with a debilitating or ongoing disease; they are also used by physically disabled, elderly, or mentally impaired individuals. Because these opioids can be highly addictive, their abuse requires a strong counter-narcotic such as OxyContin to produce the same effect. This creates a problem for physicians treating these patients; because they cannot prescribe doses of narcotics that will maintain their efficacy, doctors are forced to either severely ration these drugs and allow patients to become addicted, or prescribe higher doses and allow the abuse of lower doses to continue. As a result, the rising number of deaths among Americans suffering from prescription opioid addiction has begun to attract the attention of politicians, public health officials, law enforcement professionals, and others who have an interest in reducing the rising number of drug overdose deaths across the nation.

Effects of COVID-19 on the Opioid Epidemic

The sudden onslaught of this pandemic (COVID-19) provides an uncharacteristic haven for those already battling chronic pain to succumb to opiate addiction. It has pushed persons struggling with addiction to feel isolated and alone in their fight to recover, further diminishing their chances for recovery and compromising their physical and mental health even more. However, limiting access to effective pharmacological interventions can be counterproductive to a patient’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis. As more people succumb to overdose and death, the increasing demand for safe and effective medications will lead to more consolidation of these medications and an increase in public health care costs. In addition, the lack of access to healthcare providers and the ensuing rationing of scarce resources will undoubtedly strain public health resources even further.

The shortage of qualified clinicians available to address the opioid crisis will be a serious deterrent to many new patients suffering from this disease. Although there is no evidence of a connection between the pandemic and increased suicides among youth, more youth are at risk of succumbing to overdose and death if proper attention is not provided. By keeping current patients involved in the process of recovering and promoting recovery as a priority, the shortage of clinicians will not only create more counselors and therapists available to address the issue of addiction treatment in the future, but also provide an educational opportunity for new patients and their families to learn about the disease and how it can be overcome.

Conclusion

With over two million deaths related to prescription opioids in the US, it is clear that this problem is a growing crisis. From prescription strength pills to heroin and now the highly addictive pain relievers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, the number of deaths from these drugs is on the rise. States across the country are dealing with overloaded hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers overflowing, and individuals losing their jobs and having to fall back onto the streets. One in five people living in the United States will die from a drug overdose this year, and the numbers are steadily rising. This is leading many to wonder if the opioid epidemic will ever end. We need to take a good look at how we can expand treatment services, (including residential therapy, luxury rehab, and group therapy), increase public awareness of the dangers of using these drugs, educate doctors and pharmacists, enforce mandatory minimum jail sentences for non-medical use of narcotic opioids, and find ways to make the buying and selling of these dangerous narcotics easier than ever before


Rehab in Luxury

Rehab in Luxury

In today’s modern world, the word “luxury rehab” has come to be synonymous with a top-shelf resort. Many of us can not imagine luxury rehab facilities without picturing lush, plush rooms, beautiful flat-screen TVs all around, comfortable drapes and plush beds with high thread count pillows. The truth is that many luxury rehabs offer the very same services and amenities that are available in these well-publicized resorts, but the difference is the price. These facilities offer top-notch services at an affordable price tag. They provide their guests with individualized care based on their individual needs and wants. It is for this reason that many people have chosen to stay in a luxury rehab facility instead of staying in a more traditional or full-fledged hotel.

Luxury Rehabs Offer Personalized Treatment Programs

There are many advantages to going to a luxury rehab over a traditional treatment program for a number of reasons. One is that because these programs are more personalized, they tend to have lower levels of alcohol and drug abuse than many other treatment programs. It is believed that the personalization factor makes these programs more effective. Another advantage is that these treatment programs often cater to those who may be suffering from a chemical dependency. These individuals may have a difficult time coping with their addiction on a regular basis, and so it is very helpful if they receive individualized treatment that is geared to their specific needs.

Luxury Rehabs Also Offer Knowledgeable Staff & Useful Amenities

Luxury rehab centers are also better able to handle cases of addiction because their staff is generally much more knowledgeable about the dangers of addiction and can provide support during the recovery process. Luxury rehab centers may also have more amenities such as day care or swimming pools for their guests. It is important to remember however that just because a facility has amenities does not mean that they provide excellent treatment. If the treatment program offered by the center is substandard, it will make the recovery process that much harder. Therefore, it is extremely important to do all that one can to find the right treatment center, and to look beyond the luxury factors in order to find a reputable, effective treatment program.

Types of Treatments Offered in Luxury Rehab

The programs which are housed within luxury rehabs offer many of the same treatments that would be offered in inpatient rehab centers, such as: addiction recovery programs (including social work, communication therapy, life coaching, behavioral treatment, etc. ), medication intervention, lifestyle changes, nutritional support, spiritual support, exercise, and detoxification. Many luxury rehabs even have onsite gyms and other fitness facilities for the patients to use. All luxury rehabs provide personalized service that is focused on each patient’s needs and is tailored to the particular needs of the individual patient.

Discuss Treatment Options With Your Doctor

When comparing luxury rehabs it is important to remember that every program is different and what is best for one person may not be the best option for another. As such, it is essential that you discuss all treatment options with your chosen treatment center and/or doctor thoroughly before signing up for the program(s). Always remember that it is ultimately your choice to enter into any treatment program, however, remember that the most important thing to keep in mind when deciding to enter a luxury rehab is that it is ultimately your choice. No one else can tell you what is best for you, only you can.

Conclusion

Whether you are seeking inpatient treatment or outpatient services, be sure to do your research and consider all of the options available. Some facilities offer a number of complimentary activities and resources to help you along your road to recovery. While others offer aftercare programs and peer counseling services for those who have already completed their treatment. Luxury rehab treatment centers offer everything to help you reclaim your life and re-enter the world.


smart recovery

What should I do to Get Rid of Addictions?

What should I do to Get Rid of Addictions?

People suffering from addiction often wonder, “what should I do to get rid of my addiction?”  Although there are a few different options available, for most, a rehabilitation center that uses Smart Recovery is usually the best choice.  Drug rehab is the process of psychotherapy or medical treatment for addiction to psychoactive drugs including alcohol, prescription medicines, and street drugs like cocaine, crack, meth, heroin or methadone. Drug rehab centers offer different kinds of treatment including inpatient, day/night, residential, outpatient, short-stay rehab, long-term rehab, social work rehab, special needs rehab, marriage recovery program, group therapy and spiritual support. Each drug rehab center has its own set of procedures to provide effective treatment to drug addicts and it follows the recognized guidelines for the treatment. In addition, different methods are followed for different kinds of addiction.

Inpatient Rehab

During inpatient rehabilitation, the most common procedures followed include behavioral modification programs, group therapy, individual counseling and family therapy. Medication is also provided during inpatient rehabilitation in order to treat patients with different kinds of addictions. Substance abuse treatments include inpatient detoxification, residential treatment, outpatient treatment and short-stay residential rehab. Recovery programs include relapse prevention, cognitive behavior therapy, life skills and relapse recovery planning. These programs help in restoring the health and life of addicts and improve their coping skills for succeeding in life.

Outpatient Rehab

Out patient treatment programs offer a high degree of privacy and independence for those who are uncomfortable in a group environment. This type of program allows patients to explore their own issues without the supervision of a licensed therapist or medical practitioner. These services can also be delivered in a variety of settings including hospitals, residential treatment centers, halfway houses, outpatient treatment facilities, mental health facilities, schools, and addiction clinics. Many addiction support groups are now offering in patient recovery programs.

Addiction is a complex illness and those suffering its debilitating effects need help. They often go to great lengths to avoid contact with the substances of addiction, but without going through detoxification or treatment. Addicts have problems managing their cravings. They are often triggered by negative stimuli (such as stress, loss of a job, or a parent passing on) and are unable to resist their craving for that substance. When they try to stop, it becomes a struggle.

Smart Recovery

A good addiction recovery program addresses both the cravings and the behaviors that lead to addiction. SMART Recovery offers assistance to people seeking abstinence from alcohol and other substances of addiction. SMART Recovery is a non-profit organization that offers support to people seeking abstinence from addiction through a twelve-step program. SMART Recovery offers a variety of services, including medical consultation, social service referrals, legal counsel, and education and motivation.

A four-point program is designed to assist individuals in maintaining motivation during their recovery. These include the use of coping statements, creative activities, and activities that foster feelings of power and control. This four-step program offers tips and strategies for fighting cravings and maintaining motivation during sobriety. The SMART recovery program also offers resources that help those with addictions maintain abstinence.


Inpatient or Outpatient rehab?

Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab?

What is Best? Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab?


Within our nation, one in every thirteen people or only abuse liquor or drugs. That is about fourteen million people. The great deal of people who find themselves afflicted by alcohol misuse is shocking, to say too much to handle and the least.

From teens, professionals and habitual users who’re addicted, to drinking or drugs, no single group of Americans can claim immunity. The benefits of a properly implemented drug rehabilitation program works for all.

There’s literally no person who’s unaffected by drug addiction or alcohol abuse. Whether its a parent, spouse, child or friend, drug and alcohol abuse has touched us all.

It boils down to pinpointing the path,and becoming educated on options for inpatient drug and alcohol rehab. That might be every bit as tricky. In actuality, that is just the spot where nonprofit organizations and referral centers come in.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Centers are rehabs that you live in over a predetermined period of time with limited connection to the outside world.

Along with details via tens of tens of thousands of drug rehabs throughout the U.S, you will find an assortment of no or low-cost sources available to offer the strategies you need to start treatment.

The type of rehabilitation center and type of therapies they deliver are important. A simple web search should be able to find information on a treatment center near you that fits your individual needs to fight addiction.

Different recovery centers offer different types of treatment. While nearly all will provide inpatient treatment, many do not offer follow-up outpatient treatment. In addition, there are many newer recovery models that leverage relationships with animals including Equestrian Therapy for drug and alcohol abuse.

living drug free

Regardless of whether your condition requires inpatient rehab or outpatient rehab is strictly unique to your situation. Choosing among the many substance abuse rehabilitation centers located across the country and with diligence you should find the perfect drug or alcohol rehab that fits with your schedule while identifying and treating the underlying addiction.

Every family unit, every person is one of a kind and the patient support from the outside is important. A good drug treatment facility can leverage an outside support system with equestrian and other therapies to fight long term addiction.

Unfortunately, many patients will need to detox before entering inpatient or outpatient treatment. Detoxification is the starting point of the rehabilitation process and is the first step to living a healthy life.

Unfortunately, many people in need of help do not know where to go. They do not know the questions to ask. Truth is…a quick Google search for a drug and alcohol rehab does a great job of decimating that information for you.


A Deep Look Inside Opiate Addiction

A Look At Opiate Addiction

Opioid or opiate addiction has reached crisis levels in the United States. A common medication used to help alleviate pain is now changing into a go-to drug for an “easy high.” Sadly, using this potent substance can quickly lead to addiction.  The opiate crisis includes a variety of opium based narcotics including Heroin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Codeine and others

The Statistics are Scary

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, in 2015 there were 20,101 drug overdoses associated with prescription opiate based drugs and 12,990 deaths attributed to heroin overdoses, an illegal form of opiate drugs. We have continued to see overdoses from opiates surge. This accounts for more than 2/3 of all drug overdoses that occurred that year. The Institute also cites that emergency room visits for overdoses that did not result in death has grown by 70 percent over the last decade. These startling figures show the dangers of opiate addiction.

Still Increasing

2016 figures are even more startling according to a report made by CDC Wonder, a firm who tracks overdose death rates. The report stated, “Among the more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2016, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with over 20,000 overdose deaths.”

Options for Addiction

Thankfully, there is help available. Drug rehabilitation centers can save your life offering people facing the harsh reality of an opiate addiction a way to overcome this problem and learn to live life drug free.

What Are Opiates?

Opiates and Opioids

Examples of Opiates and Opioids

Opiates are drugs made from opium. Opium is a plant based substance that has been harvested for thousands of years. One of the beneficial qualities of opium is that it has the ability to mask pain sensors in the body by interacting with receptors in the brain. The opium floods the brain with “feel good” hormones which for many people also causes a state of euphoria.

Over time the feel good hormones take more opiates to trigger. So people begin to use more drugs to achieve the same high. This can progress over time until an eventual overdose or drug related death occurs.

Opiates are highly addictive. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) a person can become addicted mentally to an opiate based drug in as little as 10 days, and physically in as little as 21 days. This is why it is imperative that anyone who uses these types of medications for a medical condition do so under strict medical guidance.

What Types Of Drugs Are Considered Opiates?

Any type of medication that is based from the opium plant or a synthetic version of opium is considered an opiate. Here are some of the more popular names associated with opiates:

  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxycontin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Codeine
  • Demerol
  • Percodan
  • Percocet
  • Dilaudid
  • Methadone

Opiate Addiction Causes Significant Health Problems

When you become addicted to an opiate based drug, you put your life at risk. The opiates in the drugs slow body functions to dangerously low levels. As a result, many people who use opiates also experience health issues:

  • Heart Attack. The opiates slow the heart rate to a point where it can no longer function properly. This can lead to heart failure or heart attack.
  • Loss of Lung Function. Lungs are also impacted by opiates. Your breathing can become so slow that your lungs will have to labor hard to make sure you intake enough oxygen. Too much opiates may cause your lungs to just stop working.
  • Severe Constipation. Your intestines are continually moving to process the food that you eat. This movement helps the body digest food and absorb nutrients. When this process is slowed by the opiates, you can become constipated. Overuse of opiates can lead to severe problems that will require surgery to correct.
  • Nausea. Because your digestive system is not working properly you can experience regular nausea. This is a very common issue with opiate abuse. Sadly this often leads to people not wanting to eat to avoid the problem which in turn creates more health problems.
  • Confusion and Mood Swings. Opiates directly affect your brain chemicals. Because of this you can experience confusion, mood swings, depression, and mania.

The good news is that once you have entered rehab you can overcome and correct many of these problems. One of the main issues addressed in rehabilitation centers is how to stay healthy after you have beaten an addiction.

Overcoming Your Addiction

When you are in the grasp of an addiction it may seem like there is no way to every break the hold the substance has on your life. The good news is that if you want to break the addiction you can. Wanting to overcome a problem is the first step to success.

Working closely with a quality rehabilitation center is your next step to overcoming your addiction. You will need to choose between inpatient and outpatient treatment. You will need to choose between inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. During rehab you will learn about the physical and mental issues that have led to your addiction or are the result of your addiction and how to make the necessary changes to overcome these problems.

Your substance abuse counselor will work with you at every level of your recovery to help ensure that you take the steps necessary to leaving your addiction behind. Whether you are in a live in program or attend recovery on an outpatient basis, your counselor will be your guide throughout the entire recovery process.

You can stop using opiates, even if you still face issues with pain. There are many alternatives now available that are just as good or better at managing the pain without the awful effects of addiction.


Non-Drug Treatment for Pediatric Migraine

Non-Drug Treatment for Pediatric Migraine

The last thing any parent wants to do is give their kid a any type of drug. But in certain circumstances, such as a migraine, that cant be avoided.  It has been reported that for somewhere between 10-28% of kids under the age of 18, many feel they have no choice.

There Are Other Options

Truth be known, many pediatric specialists do recommend other treatments before prescribing medication.  An increasing number of non-drug therapies are available for pediatric migraine sufferers. As it is true of any r alternative medicine (CAM) treatment, the physician must be a part of the team making the decisions and oversee the unique care of the pediatric patient.

Non Drug Options for Migraines

One of the most common non-drug treatment options is temperature therapy. The application of a warm or cool compress eases pain for many. Apply the hot or cold pack to the forehead and back of neck.

Getting additional sleep can  sometimes ease the suffering of adults with migraines.  We have yet to see much additional sleep therapy studies that have been directly done on children yet.  The duration of children’s migraines is usually shorter than that of an adult. It may be beneficial to have the child take a nap taken in a dark, quiet, area can eliminate some migraines altogether.

Other Options

Scheduling can be a factor in reducing the frequency of pediatric migraines. Unlike adults, who experience stress in an acute, episodic manner, children usually experience a constant stress level, particularly during the school year. Establishing a regular routine, including time to relax and an age-appropriate sleep schedule, helps many adult that deal with migraines.

Learning to fully relax has proven beneficial.  Some preliminary studies have proven successful utilizing self-hypnosis and guided imagery, is becoming the treatment of choice for recurrent pediatric migraines. Studies on the subject show that over half of the pediatric patients who learn these relaxation techniques experience less frequent migraines, but with no reduction in pain intensity when they do have one.

There are many options for pediatric migraine therapy, do not be afraid to ask the doctor about drug alternatives.

 

 

 

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MAGNUM Introduces Axon Optics for Migraine Prevention

As a Migraine suffer if you have had the chance to obverse the previous Republican Presidential candidate Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at a sunny afternoon public event and watch her as she speaks what do you fellow Migraineurs notice when you watch the evening news later that day or happen to walk by a news stand with all those glossy photos of the photogenic Congresswoman the following day?

Could it be something odd?  Something strange, no there is nothing odd about the Congresswoman herself, back off you far-left-wingers, no place for harsh gotcha political tactics here readers, this is a health column—not a political column!   Having said that, we perused hundreds and hundreds of rally and event photos on Google and other databases with tens of hundreds of smiling Congresswoman Bachmann ALL sans Dark Eyeglasses or Tinted Eyeglasses of any type?

For a self proclaimed Migraineur that seemed odd! But not unless she simply chooses to risk a possible Migraine trigger for sake of having what many might think is a more marketable image.  These are choices Migraineurs are often forced to take whether we wish too or not every day.

Now for a woman who has gone on the public record in June regards to her Migraine disease:  “Let me be abundantly clear — my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by Migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as commander in chief,” Mrs. Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, said in a statement. She described the headaches as “easily controlled with medication.” Which may be another reason she feels confident about taking a risk with photophobic triggers seeing as hers are “easily controlled with medication.”

Now we bring up former Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann because she is one of the most photographed persons in the United States and if you take the time to peruse those countless Bachmann images you will notice one sunny day after another sunny day with thousands of Paparazzi snaps and professional photojournalists capturing the Minnesota Representative never wearing her Migraine preventing sunglasses, or tinted glasses Migraineurs so often don’t go home without!

Over the years this health advocate never goes anywhere without tinted eyewear so I thought it was interesting to see Ms. Buchmann forgoing most Migraine doctor’s advice to avail her possible campaign managers advices.   Do I know this for a fact?

No.  The purpose of using this public figure as an example was to draw attention to the fact for most Migraineurs are photosensitive and can benefit from the proper protective eyewear from a common Migraine trigger.  In no way do we think she is exaggerating her Migraines, just the opposite.

To that fact it appears to highlight how we Migraine sufferers have to take decisions as simple as what some might consider a fashion statement can affect our risk to future attacks.  We applaud all Migraineurs who give up a choice which might help them avoid a trigger to better interact at work or play.

If timing is everything in politics then how nice a major science backed study much stronger than the 1991 Photophobia Filter Study et al R.H.Taylor , F. R. C. S. & M.J. Mortimer, M.R.C.G.P. “The Use of Tinted Glasses in Childhood Migraine”  back when Congresswoman Bachmann made her Migraine disease decree a very hardy study in the prestigious Headache and Migraine disease medical publication called Cephalalgia Magazine came both occurred in June of 2011!

“fMRI Evidence that Precision Ophthalmic Tints Reduce Cortical Hyperactivation in Migraine” What is important for those who don’t realize just how hard it has been to get NIH or any other medical body to conduct Migraine disease or headache disorder research, but that is a whole other story and you can get started by reading up about Headache On the Hill to learn more about the inequity of medical studies.

So we are always grateful to see any, especially ones done by major institutions , and keep in mind studies based around high tech devices such as Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging or functional MRI (fMRI).  The advantages is they allow researchers to actually map the brain and brain function of vetted Migraineurs and you do not need thousands of patients such as a double blind study as it would be very redundant and a waste of very expensive resources as well as cutting into research time for other struggling diseases. We still hope to see more such studies on Migraines continue which is one of the reasons we are writing about it.


The Nigerian Tribune Features MAGNUM In Global Migraine Awareness Piece

Today one of the continent of Africa’s Top 35 Newspapers, The Nigerian Tribune featured a full length Migraine disease article for the local African readers.  Considering how much misinformation there is in various parts of the world and as a former Board of Directors Member of the WHA or the World Headache Alliance for over seven years I cannot tell you how exciting it is to see such an important part of the world reaching out to its citizens with better health educate regarding Migraine disease and Headache disorders.

The article was published in a major newspaper; The Nigerian Tribune and authored by writer Ruth Olurounbi, in this report, she examines the disease and what triggers Migraines.  Ms. Olurounbi focuses on understanding the disease mechanisms, the neurological aspects of the condition to obtain better treatment and the triggers of Migraine disease in her article for The Nigerian Tribune.

She opens with MAGNUM’s ever popular Myth Vs. Reality, An Understanding of Migraine Disease & Tips for Migraine Management an MAGNUM NMA article,  co-authored by Michael John Coleman and Terri Miller Burchfield.  Which we do agree is a great starting point for anybody to familiarize themselves with the condition.

Look–it is a great read, but don’t take our word for it, take a cyber trip to heart of the African Continent and visit Nigeria today, well visit The Nigerian Tribune’s Migraine website and link to the medical story “Why You Should Avoid Migraine Triggers?.  We think you will enjoy medical reporter Ruth Olurounbi thoughtful attempt at Nigerian Migraine Disease Awareness. Oh for those of you who will see MAGNUM referred to as NMA in the article, we do go by that acronym, but more often than not overseas and it just stands for the last half of our NGO’s name; MAGNUM, The National Migraine Association or NMA for short!  There you go, now please go enjoy the power of the World Wide Web and global Migraine awareness in action.

Speaking of global Migraine awareness in action you might also want to take time out to learn more about the World Headache Alliance (WHA).  You can visit their website anytime.  You will find a great deal of interesting Migraine disease and Headache disorder material to peruse.  We hope you have had fun globetrotting, it means more than basketball these days thanks to the internet.  Stay head-pain free now.


St. Jude Medical Announces European Regulatory Approval of First Implanted Neurostimulation Device to Treat Chronic Migraine

CE Mark approval expands treatment options for patients suffering from the pain and disability associated with intractable chronic migraine.

According to a Business Wire press release St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ), a global medical device company, today announced it has received the industry’s first and only regulatory approval for the use of an implanted neurostimulation device for patients with intractable chronic Migraine. The company received European CE Mark approval for its Genesis neurostimulation system for peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) of the occipital nerves for the management of the pain and disability associated with intractable chronic Migraine. This type of Migraine is defined as headache lasting at least four hours per day for 15 or more days per month, causing at least moderate disability, and not responding to three or more preventive drugs.

“Through my participation in this study, I have observed the life-changing potential this therapy offers chronic Migraine patients.”

You can get an idea of how the Genesis sytem would be deployed to delivery its mild electrical pulses to the occipital nerves that are located just beneath the skin at the back of the Migraineurs head.

PNS therapy for this condition involves the delivery of mild electrical pulses to the occipital nerves that are located just beneath the skin at the back of the head. A small electrical lead or leads are placed under the skin and connected to the neurostimulator which produces the pulses of stimulation.

“As a professor and practicing neurologist who works with these patients on a daily basis, I see firsthand the challenges they face in trying to manage their pain and disability and how chronic Migraine impacts their lives and their families,” said Dr. Stephen D. Silberstein, past president, American Headache Society, director of the Jefferson Headache Center, and has been a trusted advisor to MAGNUM on Migraine disease issues is the principal investigator in a recent St. Jude Medical chronic Migraine clinical trial. “Through my participation in this study, I have observed the life-changing potential this therapy offers chronic Migraine patients.”

The CE Mark approval was supported by the results of St. Jude Medical’s chronic migraine study, a randomized, double-blind, controlled study that collected data from 157 patients. On average, participants enrolled in the study suffered from (Migraine) headache 26 days per month.

The largest clinical study to date evaluating PNS to treat chronic Migraine utilized various measures including the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire, subjective assessment scales and daily patient diaries to report headache intensity, frequency, duration and medication use. At 12 weeks, patients in the active group reported an average of seven fewer headache (Migraine) days a month as measured by the MIDAS questionnaire compared to only a one day per month decrease in the control group (non-stimulation group). In addition, overall disability as measured by MIDAS demonstrated that participants in the active group showed a 41% improvement after 12 weeks of stimulation, compared to a 13% improvement in the control group.

Results at one year included:

  • 65 percent of patients reported excellent or good pain relief
  • 88 percent said they would recommend the procedure to someone else
  • 68 percent of patients expressed that their quality of life had improved
  • 67 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with the results of their procedure

Results of the major study endpoints were presented in abstract and poster format at the International Headache Congress in Berlin in June 2011. Study data will be submitted for publication in medical journals later this year and early 2012.

“This CE Mark is the first approval by a regulatory body for the use of neurostimulation to manage the debilitating symptoms of intractable chronic migraine and provides a new option for patients who have generally exhausted all other treatment options,” said Chris Chavez, president of the St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division. “For more than six years we have worked with our investigators to develop and evaluate this life-changing therapy. We will continue to work with regulatory authorities to secure approvals in order to offer this therapy option to patients throughout the world.”

Some Additional Background on St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division:

Three Decades of Leading-Edge Neurostimulation Technology

For more than 30 years, the St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division has developed new technologies to treat chronic pain and other neurological disorders. Today more than 75,000 patients in 40 countries have been implanted with St. Jude Medical neurostimulation systems. Focused on research, St. Jude Medical is developing new technologies to address a growing list of neurological disorders. Additional clinical studies are currently underway for Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, major depressive disorder, and other significant indications.

About St. Jude Medical

St. Jude Medical develops medical technology and services that focus on putting more control into the hands of those who treat cardiac, neurological and chronic pain patients worldwide. The company is dedicated to advancing the practice of medicine by reducing risk wherever possible and contributing to successful outcomes for every patient. St. Jude Medical is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., and has four major focus areas that include cardiac rhythm management, atrial fibrillation, cardiovascular and neuromodulation. For more information, please visit sjm.com.


Drug Options for Migraine Sufferers

For many a Migraine suffer Midrin® was the first prescription a white-coat jutted down on a Rx tablet.  It was our first trip to the pharmacist to get help for a horrible health problem.  For a great deal more of us it was the first step in our health struggle to be taken serious.  God bless Ed Bergeron, former President of Carnrick Laboratories—the pharmaceutical company that created that beloved maroon capsule called Midrin.

You guessed it the company is no longer in the game, to bad as it was a great little patient first company. Mike & Terri both interview Ed in the 1990’s and Carnrick Laboratories gave MAGNUM our first small grant in 1996 as the company was very supportive of Migraine disease awareness beyond digital marketing games of any type.

After years of false starts attempting to address the fact that that for some of us our quality of life was beginning to slip away and if one more doctor told us to just take more OTCs (Over The Counter drugs) we would want to scream!

But alas we get our first Rx filled and upon our next prodrome (good move & drug working so much better) if we are Migraine literate if not we will wait till our head is splitting in half (not such a good move) and deploy that first real medicine for a life-long serious condition and to our surprise several hours later a moderate Migraine is ‘under control’.

This was a whole new experience to say the least for many of us.  Such fond memories can be found all around the nation judging by phone calls, letters,  and e-mails which is why MAGNUM likes to call this the ‘Great Midrin®’ shortage beginning several years ago and the panic began!

No, really, a real panic mind you did happen.  People were genuinely shocked when the FDA began going after the DESI drugs with the new Administration and the lead up the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

What direct connections there are we have no idea.  But we do know a great deal of older bio-engineered drugs are no longer with us just as we are seeing a great deal of generics disappear in the past two years.  Time will tell if this is experts clearing out the deadwood or bureaucracy being overly efficient, which often leads down a road of inefficiency turning left on ironically ally.

As far as coverage of the slow loss of Midrin from your local pharmacy there have been only a few well written articles about the subject.  Besides www.MigraineBlog.org‘s coverage our friend Migraine Health Advocate Teri Robert did some top notch coverage such as Migraine Abortive Midrin and Equivalents Update Feburary 9th, 2011. on the Migraine.com network.

Having said that let us all consider that generic Midrin is gone for good sans our friends who are compounding the cute little capsules.  Well don’t panic as we spoke to nationally renowned Migraine Expert, with an eye in alternative treatments and we are sure many readers have seen him before.  We would like you to meet Dr. Alexander Mauskop of CNN, FOX TV News, or MSNBC TV News fame?

Dr. Mauskop and MAGNUM Executive Director Michael John Coleman discussed the Midrin crisis as Director Coleman noticed Dr. Mauskop’s spend years of his life as well as  put a great deal of his own money into developing a over the counter anti-Migraine drug called “Migralex®?

Like Midrin having both abortive properties and pain fighting properties having synergy to our old friend Midrin.  But his drug Migralex® is base on magnesium, a well known Migraine fighting agent. Migralex® like Midrin® his medicine is compounded, but unlike Midrin it is compounded with aspirin an NSAID which is well known to be very effective in the correct doses. Now aspirin if over used in very large amounts every few hours by its self can be problematic you may have heard—leading to rebound headache.

But rebound is NOT an issue as you are protected from it by just following the directions and taking the FDA recommended dose every 4 to 6 hours.  We have had a great deal of positive feedback about Migralex® and it offers readers a readily available Migraine medicine to purchase online today to replace your empty Midrin bottle. You can visit Dr Mauskop’s popular Migraine Blog, and make sure you discuss with you attending physician you might have found a milder buy very effect replacement for the defunct Midrin in case you has special health issues; such as health issues with magnesium or to say aspirin.

Next on our list of replacement players up at bat is an old friend the ever popular GelStat® Migraine.  GelStat came to MAGNUM’s attention as the first over the counter Migraine drug that offered an abortive capacity for the Migraine patient.  Now we thought this was great as triptans, though very effective, are very costly. GelStat® Migraine is very effective at just $8.00 for a box of 4 separate 2ml oral doses.

Now GelStat is based on feverfew, a tried and true alternative treatment being used for Migraine for hundreds of years.  But only till recently do we have quality testing, some of which can be viewed at the GelStat website for your perusal www.GelStat.com. We also have some background on fever.  Few on our Alternative Treatment section of www.migraines.org if you are still looking for more on the plant this drug is based on.

We have some excellent feedback and we have others who this does not seem to be that effective.  Several years ago we gave a hard working auto mechanic who cannot afford time off for a bad Migraine several boxes to try.  With the exception for a severe ER Migraine he was trilled effectiveness of this odd little pill that you take sublingual (under the tongue).

We can’t believe we are giving Excedrin® Migraine a free plug but this would not be good journalism if we did not point best last replacement player if our metaphoric team is kinda short and does not look like he is major league.  Having said that we would like to draw you attention to a quality product, yes MAGNUM will say it, but with this caveat–Excedrin® Migraine can be very effect for many of us who suffer from Migraine, but only those who suffer from mild Migraines, and an occasional moderate Migraine.  But children do not try Excedrin® Migraine on a severe or god forbid on a profound Migraine because the medication will fail and you will need a triptan or an ergot in short order.  So please discuss this with your doctor, but our idea would be for Migrainuers who suffer with mild to moderate Migraines you can consider this as a full time replacement for your RIP Midrin.  But talk to you doctor about having abortive such as a triptan around to take on your breakthrough attacks.  You may be able to get by with a few samples if you severe attacks are so rare.  Which is why Excedrin® Migraine is something you may consider as you say goodbye to Midrin® for good.

Of course if someone decides to put it back in production MAGNUM will be the first to let you know.  But we have come so far, so don’t get your hope up!  So say bye bye to that that last bottle you have been holding on to, as those Midrin pills are getting pretty long in the tooth any way and they are not going back into production.  Rest in peace little maroon pill! (OK; RIP to generic maroon & white little pills too!)