Every new Migraine treatment goes through a long road of testing and trials before it’s available to try. Shelly from Palo Alto, California, recently called into the Migraine Again Podcast and asked host Paula K. Dumas whether she should do Migraine clinical trials. She asked:

I’d really like to take part in Migraine clinical trials, but I’m really nervous about it. Is it really worth it? If so, what do I need to know?

Paula K. Dumas: Great question, Shelly. You know, a lot of people see these ads for about research for new treatments and you think, “Should I do Migraine clinical trials?”

Clinical trials are really great for a few types of people.

  • Those who have lost hope, who feel like they’ve tried everything. If that might be you, then it might be good for you.
  • Those who want to contribute to the community in some meaningful way. Maybe you can’t give because you’re financially strapped, but you have time and can invest your time to help grow the Migraine community. This is a really important thing to do.
  • Also, those who are feeling like the treatment that you’re using, the therapy that you’re using just isn’t helping at all and you’re on a quest to find something new and better for you. All of those are good reasons to get involved in a clinical trial.

5 Things to Know Before You Do Migraine Clinical Trials

1 – All of your costs are covered. First thing to consider before deciding to participate in Migraine clinical trials is that all of your costs will be covered. Your time, your travel, all of those things.

2 – We’re living in the Golden Age of Migraine Research. There has been more than 100 Migraine clinical trials this year alone because there’s a huge surge in scientific breakthroughs for Migraine. New medications, new devices, new alternative therapies – more than in the last two decades. It’s a good time to get engaged.

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do Migraine clinical trials

If you decide to do Migraine clinical trials, you can potentially try a new treatment and help with research. Image: Unsplash

3 – Migraine clinical trials help the whole community. Whenever you see a reference on MigraineAgain.com to PubMed or a medical journal like Neurology or Cephalalgia, that evidence is all coming out of Migraine clinical trials. We really rely upon that to get good evidence on what’s going to help people and what will not. If you want to be a part of that, there’s no cost to you to qualify or to participate if you do qualify.

Then there are some hidden benefits if you decide to do Migraine clinical trials. Not only are you providing new options for therapy for the community, you’ve saved us from some ineffective or effective therapies that shouldn’t ever come to market. Both of those are really big benefits and so I’d say a big “thank you” to all of you who have participated in a clinical trial because they’re really important for us to be able to make progress. It’s what I call a win-win-win all the way around.

4 – You don’t have to try a new drug to participate. Interestingly, not all of the trials that are out there are medication-based. Some of them are, but there are trials for weight loss, for acupuncture, for vitamins, for devices, behavioral therapies, some natural therapies. There are all kinds of things that are being researched by different hospitals and universities right now. All of those have the potential to really help us as patients.

5 – There is no guarantee you will get to try the treatment. There are some hidden costs when deciding whether to do Migraine clinical trials. You may or may not get the treatment. You might be in the control arm that gets the sugar pill, the placebo, or the fake stimulation of some type. Or you might get the real thing. So you might get no benefit at all out of the therapy if it either doesn’t work or you’re in the control arm that’s not getting anything, so don’t expect that if it doesn’t work for you it’s automatically a failed trial. You were an important part of that trial even if it didn’t work for you.

I think it’s always worth mentioning in times like this, don’t enter into a clinical trial of any sort without first consulting with your existing doctor because the clinical trial is not going to be run by your doctor unless you’re going to a world class Headache Center, which is where a lot of them are facilitated. Your day to day doctor needs to know what you’re doing because you might not be the best candidate for this, and if the trial requires that you suspend your current therapy and your local doctor does not believe that that’s the best thing for you, don’t do it. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it.

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If you would like to participate in Migraine clinical trials, check out the clinical trial registry.

The post Should I Do Migraine Clinical Trials? 5 Things to Consider appeared first on Migraine Again.



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