NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It is no surprise that during the COVID-19 pandemic doctors are seeing more people suffering from bad headaches, which can be caused by stress. That is in addition to their patients who already had chronic migraines.

“That is somebody who has migraines more than 15 days a month, more than three months at a time,” Yale Medicine neuroimmunologist Sharon Stoll said.

Stoll said when migraine sufferers have to depend on over-the-counter medications several times a day or every other day, they should seek medical advice.

“We really had a significant breakthrough in headache history,” Stoll said.

She said drugs have come out called CGRP inhibitors.

“These medications are so helpful for those who suffer from those chronic headaches,” Stoll said. “They have few side effects, and they’re really good at controlling headaches.”

The medicine is once a month injection. Stoll said her patients have responded well to these medications.
The CGRP inhibitors labels indicate they reduce headache frequency and severity by 50%. Her patients’ results are higher.

“Those particular medications inhibit a specific peptide that actually causes headaches to prevent it,” Stoll said.

Stoll said there is also a newer class of migraine medications for those whose headaches are not chronic, like pre-menstrual, called GEPANTS.

“A GEPANT, or this medication called Ubrevly, triggers receptors on that one particular day for those headaches,” Stoll said. “It is such a breath of fresh air to have these new classes of medications. These medications, the number one thing I hear from my patients is they changed my life, just to prevent those migraines, just to get somebody back to their normal life is so satisfying as a physician.”

While Stoll is a specialist, she encourages you to start a conversation with your primary care physician if headaches are impacting your life. There are many kinds of treatments to try.