Dr. Robbins was recently interviewed for an article in the Daily Muse. The following is a portion of the article.
Even if you got stuck with migraines in the genetic jackpot, you might not know this: June is National Migraine Awareness Month. And so today, I’m dedicating this column to the ladies of the migraine. (And, yes, it’s mostly ladies. Migraines happen to “three women to every one man,” says neurologist and headache specialist, Dr. Larry Robbins, MD. Lucky us.)
The reason that migraines are difficult to treat is because there’s no one-side effect free silver bullet that works for everyone. The triptans or pure medications (a.k.a. Imitrex, Maxalt, and Relpax) have been around for 19 years, and they “work pretty well – in about 65% of people,” says Robbins. Some migraine sufferers find relief from hormonal options, says Dr. Susan Hutchinson, MD. “About 60% of women will experience worsening of migraines with menses. The drop in estrogen just before and during menses is felt to be the most important trigger for menstrual migraines. Continuous low-dose birth control pills may help with prevention to create an even estrogen level.”
Robbins also brings up a newer option (much loved and often abused by reality TV housewives everywhere) – Botox. The wrinkle-smoothing injectible was FDA approved for migraines in 2010 and is now increasingly covered by insurance. It’s obvious that navigating through this dizzying array of treatment options can be as “painful” as the conditions they are purported to treat – but this can be eased with establishing an open line of communication with a headache specialist you trust.
“Things don’t always work – but often they do,” says Robbins. “People kick themselves because they go 10 years without seeing anyone, then find something that easily works and say, ‘I should have tried this 10 years ago!'” www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse June 2013