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Greg Peterman knew the concussions were part of the job. After 21 years in the U.S. Army Special Forces, many as a Green Beret, injuries weren’t unusual. What Peterman didn’t expect were the debilitating migraine attacks that ensued, throwing his life into a tailspin.
“My migraine started somewhere around the third or fourth deployment. By then I already had a couple of concussions,” says Peterman, a 46-year-old vet hailing out of West Jefferson, North Carolina. Mental health issues compounded the migraine attacks, prompting Peterman to eventually seek help. But it wasn’t until 12 years later that Peterman found relief in Nurtec® ODT (rimegepant), the migraine medication.
Manufactured by Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, it’s the only FDA-approved medication to treat and prevent migraine attacks. A single dose of this fast-acting oral medication can last up to 48 hours for many patients. When taken as a preventive measure, Nurtec ODT can cut monthly migraine attacks in half. For Peterman, the drug really made a difference, but it was a long and painful journey that led him to it. “I was on eight different pills. I was taking a bunch of magnesium supplements. It wasn’t helping enough,” he says.
Nurtec ODT is a prescription medicine used in adults for the acute treatment of migraine attacks with or without aura and the preventive treatment of episodic migraine. Nurtec ODT is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to rimegepant, Nurtec ODT, or to any of its components. Nurtec ODT may cause serious side effects including allergic reactions, including trouble breathing and rash. This can happen days after you take Nurtec ODT. Call your HCP or get emergency help right away if you have swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat or trouble breathing. This occurred in less than 1% of patients treated with Nurtec ODT.
Promise in a Pill
Nurtec® ODT is among a handful of migraine treatments approved by the FDA and is the only medication that can treat and prevent these debilitating attacks. Some migraine treatments are administered via injection in the thigh or abdomen.
On the surface migraine may seem like a manageable nuisance, but it isn’t, plaguing nearly 40 million Americans. Worldwide more than 1 billion people suffer from migraine attacks. For 90% of them, migraine impacts their education, careers, and social activities. It’s so bad the World Health Organization lists migraine as one of the planet’s 10 most debilitating diseases. * It makes sense given the symptoms of migraine attacks include:
Pain is one or both sides of your head
– Throbbing and pulsing pain
– Severe sensitivity to light, sound, smells, and in some cases touch
– Vomiting and nausea
– Pain that can last for hours or days
Headaches and migraine attacks became a part of Peterman’s life, made worse by mental health issues and marital strife. Peterman would often try to find relief in a dark closet, sometimes spending eight hours hoping the pain would subside. It took him away from his family life and contributed to his divorce. “Dealing with everyday normal life wasn’t so normal for me. I couldn’t get rid of it,” says the Green Beret. “I had to deal with it as a father and a husband. The migraine attacks would come whenever stress was put on me.” Peterman avoided stressors that could trigger a migraine attack which meant that he was avoiding everyday life.
It wasn’t until two years ago that Peterman was introduced to Nurtec ODT. After getting approved by the FDA in February of 2020 for the acute treatment of migraine, the medicine landed on the Veteran Affairs formulary and Peterman’s neurologist thought it was worth a try. This medicine ended up exceeding Peterman’s expectations. “For me, the Nurtec ODT really made a difference,” says Peterman. “The first time I took Nurtec ODT, my migraine went completely away around the one-hour mark.” Of course, everyone’s experience is different and individual results may vary. “
Nurtec Makes Migraine Manageable
Nurtec® ODT is a quick-dissolving tablet that doesn’t require water, providing a convenient way to take the medication. The medication can also prevent the onset of migraine attacks when taken every other day. It’s something Peterman tested before attending the Daytona 500, a 500 mile long NASCAR Cup Series race that’s held every year in Daytona Beach, Florida. The event, which draws over 100,000 people, could easily spark a migraine for Peterman but with Nurtec ODT that didn’t happen. “Nowadays if I have a high-stress event coming up I take a Nurtec ODT just in case,” he says. Just like most medications, there are potential side effects – stomach pain, indigestion, and nausea – but that hasn’t affected Peterman.
Now importantly it has allowed Peterman to get back to his life, enabling him to launch Blue Ridge Safehouse: a nonprofit organization that helps active-duty Green Berets reintegrate into family life post-deployment. The nonprofit provides Green Berets and their families with free counseling sessions and guided activities to help the soldier and family reconnect in a stress-free environment. Peterman knows firsthand how hard reintegration can be, especially for Green Berets who risk their lives in combat zones in far-flung corners of the world. To many of them, returning home and dealing with mental health issues is harder than special forces training or freeing hostages. “I wouldn’t have the motivation, the mental clarity, the desire and the drive if I was still suffering so badly from the migraine,” says Peterman of his charity. “Nurtec ODT 100% helped me to start the Blue Ridge Safehouse so I could start helping the guys following in my footsteps.”
Important Safety Information: Nurtec® ODT 75 mg orally disintegrating tablets are a prescription medicine that is used to treat migraine in adults. It is for the acute treatment of migraine attacks and the preventive treatment of episodic migraine. Do not take if you are allergic to Nurtec ODT or any of its ingredients. The most common side effects were nausea (2.7%) and stomach pain / indigestion (2.4%). Please visit Nurtec.com for full Prescribing Information, Patient Information and Important Safety Information.
* Source: American Migraine Foundation