The UK’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance that electroCore’s non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation treatment (gammaCore) for the prevention and acute treatment of migraine and cluster headache is safe and can now be used in the NHS.
The guidance issued by NICE showed that among the five separate clinical trials of gammaCore they reviewed, many patients experienced substantial and meaningful benefit from the therapy.
Among cluster headache patients, this benefit included significantly fewer headache attacks, complete headache relief in some patients within minutes of using the device, supplementary headache treatments were needed on fewer occasions, and there was an improved quality of life.
In the migraine trials reviewed, NICE found that there was pain relief in about half the patients and complete pain relief in around twenty percent of patients within two hours of using gammaCore. They also found that there was relief from sickness, sensitivity to light and noise in up to fifty percent of patients, recovery from disability in about thirty percent of patient within two hours and additional migraine treatments were only needed in about half the patients two hours after treatment.
JP Errico, CEO and founder of electroCore commented, “We are very pleased that with this guidance gammaCore can now be used across the NHS which will open up this treatment to more patients suffering from these very debilitating conditions. While these five studies represent a significant number of patients, we have conducted and continue to conduct a number of additional clinical trials that will be used to update NICE to advance the guidance available to patients and providers throughout the UK.”
The gammaCore device, which is CE marked, is widely used across the world and is available across the UK at specialist headache clinics and through neurologists.
The treatment is easily self-administered by patients, by placing the gammaCore on the side of the neck, over the vagus nerve (where the pulse is felt), and stimulating for two minutes.