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Tuesday, April 21, 1998

Hostesses work hard

Becky Patterson and Becky Spencer hosted the March meeting
of Twentieth Century Club. A style show was held at the West
of the Pecos Museum.

New members welcomed

Delta Kappa Gamma inducted new members recently. New members
include Caroline Garcia, Patricia Matthews, Trudi Miller and
Kimberly McBride.

Migraine therapy provides options

Nasal sprays, pills or injections are providing migraine
sufferers options for stopping headaches.

"These newer medications do not prevent migraines but can
stop one that is beginning," said Dr. Howard Derman,
director of The Headache Clinic at Baylor College of
Medicine and The Methodist Hospital in Houston.

Migraines are characterized by pain on one side usually over
the eye or cheek, nausea or vomiting, and sensitivity to
light. Most migraines last from two to four hours and occur
primarily in women.

During migraines, blood vessels in the brain experience a
sterile inflammation and spasm. This activity occurs at the
point where nerves from pain centers connect to the blood
vessels. Researchers believe that a brain chemical, called
substance P, regulates the inflammation.

"We know that a brain chemical, serotonin, effects substance
P, so these newer migraine medications target serotonin,"
Derman said. "So far, we don't have medications to attack
substance P directly."

Knowledge of a patient's migraine history is essential for
determining which medication to prescribe.

"If the patient has a warning the headache is coming, such
as seeing flashing lights or wiggly lines, then a medicine
that takes longer to react is fine," he said. "Patients with
little warning need something that works quickly."

Medication choices include Imitrex, which comes in
injectable, nasal and pill forms, a nasal spray Migranal,
and oral medications Zomig and Amerge. Two more pills are
awaiting FDA approval.

Reaction times vary with injections being the quickest.

"Injections can work in five to 10 minutes and on average
provide relief in 30 to 45 minutes," Derman said. "Nasal
sprays can take from 10 minutes to an average of one hour
and 15 minutes, and pills take anywhere from 30 minutes to
two-and-a-half hours to react."

Since most people are accustomed to taking pills, drug
companies are hoping to find a pill that will work in 30
minutes for most patients.

"As we learn more about the mechanism of migraine, more
medications will become available," Derman said. "A combined
treatment of nasal spray and pill, which is being tested at
Baylor, also should prove effective."

Derman cautions that people with high blood pressure and
coronary artery disease should not use these medications.

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Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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