The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued final draft guidance recommending the use of Pfizer’s rimegepant (Vydura) to prevent migraine attacks.

The therapy has been recommended as an option to prevent episodic migraines in adult patients, who have between four and 15 migraine attacks per month, and where a minimum of three preventive treatments have previously failed.

Up to 145,000 people in England will have the option to choose this treatment.

According to the clinical trial evidence, rimegepant works better to reduce the number of episodic migraines in patients who have previously tried three preventive treatments, compared to a dummy treatment.

NICE medicines evaluation director Helen Knight said: “Each year, the lives of millions of people in England are blighted by migraine attacks. They can be extremely debilitating and can significantly affect a person’s quality of life.

“In comments received during consultation on the previous draft guidance, patients and carers described migraine as an invisible disability that affects all aspects of life, including family, social activities, mental health, finances, and education.

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“Rimegepant is the first oral treatment for migraine to be recommended by NICE and for many thousands of people it is likely to be a welcome and more convenient addition to existing options for a condition that is often overlooked and undertreated.”

Current preventative treatments for migraine, including beta-blockers, antidepressants and epilepsy medications, may have significant side effects.

After these have been tried, NICE-recommended treatments such as erenumab, fremanezumab or galcanezumab are provided.