The pain of migraine can now be relieved within 2hours with the help of a new nose spray device. This device developed by 'OptiNose' is a pipe like puffer device that blows powdered medicine up the nose. The powder is loaded at one end of the nose spray which is inserted in the nostril and the other end is held in the mouth. When the patient exhales, this powder is blown into the nostril from where it is rapidly absorbed in the bloodstream via tiny blood vessels present just below the inside of the nose. From there it is carried to the brain via the trigeminal nerve (nerve from nose to brain).
Contrary to oral medications which require minimum ½ an hour for the first signs of relief, this powder reaches the bloodstream within few minutes. The drug used is triptan- in the powdered form. Triptan pills are widely used to treat migraine. Pain signals are blocked because of triptan, thus providing relief from pain. Triptan also causes contraction of blood vessels around the brain. This is important as migraines are caused by sudden dilation of blood vessels, in response to triggers like stress or alcohol.
It has been reported that during the clinical trials nearly 6 out of 10 patients were completely pain-free after 2hours. 54% patients who took a 10mg dose and 57% who took a 20mg dose did not have pain after few hours. Chairman of Migraine Action's medical advisory board, Andrew Dowson, said, "This is very clever technology which is a new way of delivering an established migraine drug. It works more effectively and more quickly, and has fewer side effects."