Healthbeat

First Sumatriptan patch approved as migraine treatment

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
File photo of a woman suffering from a headache.

File photo of a woman suffering from a headache. (KABC Photo)

The FDA has just approved the first Sumatriptan patch to treat migraines.

The patch contains the most widely prescribed drug for migraine, Sumatriptan.

It's an alternative to pills, nasal sprays and injections.

"The patch is an electrical skin patch," said Dr. Stewart of the Cleveland Clinic. "It has electrodes on it and it's placed on the arm or the thigh and the patient presses a button and that turns on the power and the sumatriptan is placed under the skin."

Doctors say the one drawback is that the patch is not necessarily "fast-acting" and can take up to two hours or more before the pain is gone.

But it's supposed to be ideal for people who don't like the taste of sumatriptan in a nasal spray or those who experience nausea or vomiting while battling migraine.

The patch may not be available until the end of the year.

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