There are few conditions that are as disabling as a migraine during an acute attack. Migraines are ranked as the sixth most common cause of disability by the World Health Organization. Migraines are also ranked the most common cause of neurologic disability in the United States. Over 36 million Americans have migraines, more than the number of people who have diabetes and asthma combined.
One of the challenges in treating acute and chronic migraines is that oral preventive drug therapy is only effective in 40-50% of patients. Pharmacologic therapy is also responsible for a wide array of side effects that can make compliance and drug dosing difficult to achieve. Migraines have an impact on lifestyle, occupations, and quality of life. It is a disabling condition that must be treated with absolute haste to abort the headache as quickly as possible.