Transdermal Pain Management for Migraine Sufferers
This last summer I was in Phoenix, Arizona, suffering through a three-day migraine headache in 118-degree heat. The warmth made it worse, the light made it worse — any stimuli at all just made me feel even more miserable. I was so nauseated that I couldn’t keep much of anything down; slowly sipping flat cola was all I could manage. I couldn’t get any work done, tackle chores around the house, or play with my child. Pretty much the only thing I could do was lie still. I know it may not sound like much of a problem, but believe me, I would have given almost anything for a better solution.
For migraine sufferers like myself, pain management can be a daily struggle and carry a host of side-effects. This means that many people could benefit from a new approach. Transdermal pain management for migraine sufferers is now among the best treatment options, and something more doctors are prescribing, and something your pharmacy should consider stocking in order to meet the demand for alternative treatments. Expanding the offerings and bettering the solutions you provide for customers will enhance your reputation and potentially generate new business for your practice.
The Problem: Traditional Migraine Treatments
Migraine headaches are actually a cluster of symptoms. These symptoms, the chronic nature of the migraine, and the level of pain inherent to the condition present a series of challenges for practitioners as you already know. First, because migraines are chronic, recurring events, narcotics and other habit-forming pain treatments are not favored, and heavy regulation of these kinds of drugs ties up your practice. Second, the problem of nausea makes oral treatments difficult or impossible for many of your patients to tolerate. Third, because of the specific neurological cause of the pain, there is an acknowledged therapeutic void to some extent. Triptans are helpful, but for the most part they are not meeting the needs of large numbers of patients.
Furthermore, since most sufferers either cannot tolerate pills, or, if they are taking oral medication, are choosing those which they can afford, research shows that most sufferers still rely most heavily on over the counter remedies such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen. The research appears to indicate that when the cost is compared with the marginal effectiveness and similar side effect risk of triptans, sufferers decide they might as well swallow over the counter pills. In other words, until you can offer them an option that is either far more effective or just as effective but safer, your patients will stick to what they know.
Transdermal Pain Management
Transdermal treatments for migraine sufferers are an alternative for physicians to offer their patients, which is why pharmacies need to be prepared to fill it. There are a number of reasons why these are becoming more popular. The transdermal delivery has much of the faster acting benefit that the older injectable offered but with none of the pain or lasting soreness. And unlike the oral version of the triptan, the transdermal version is a good choice for patients experiencing nausea and vomiting, allowing the medication to completely bypass the GI system and going directly into the bloodstream where it is needed. And for patients who are concerned about liver and kidney function based on their overall medication history, transdermal treatments for migraine are a safe and more attractive option. An added benefit is the ability to prescribe customized doses for patients.
Triptans are now available as transdermal treatments, as is Ketoprofen, a cost-effective, more sophisticated, and far more effective alternative to an over the counter aid like ibuprofen. Ketoprofen is approved by the FDA as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It affords a strong level of pain relief and is appropriate for patients, such as migraine sufferers, who experience mild to moderate pain. Ketoprofen is typically tolerated well — and in the case of migraine sufferers who may be experiencing nausea, this is especially true when it is administered transdermally.
Ketoprofen’s properties as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic are at least as effective as other medications in the analgesic class. Furthermore, the shelf life of transdermal Ketoprofen is at least 60 days. It is considered to be a stable compound, offering good value for pharmacists who serve chronic pain sufferers; it can be prescribed it without being concerned that it won’t last.
An Ideal Treatment for Migraine Relief
The searing, disabling pain of a migraine can most effectively be treated by medication that won’t cause lasting damage to the body. And no medication will help if it can’t be taken into the body due to the presence of nausea. For these reasons, transdermal pain management for migraine sufferers offers millions of patients the safest, most effective way to manage their chronic pain.
Pharmaceutica North America is proud to be your resource for quality compounding pharmaceutical ingredients for transdermal pain management, and to guide you in the use of compounded medications. Contact us today to obtain quality medication ingredients for your patients’ needs.