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Patient thanks UHNM for 'life changing’ treatment

A patient from University Hospitals of North Midlands has thanked the headache service for life changing treatment which has given her a new lease of life.

Joanna Banks, from Shropshire, suffered from debilitating migraines every month, which led to her being unable to work properly, rarely planning anything in advance and constantly cancelling plans.

The 58-year-old has suffered from migraines for seven years and after being seen by specialists at Royal Stoke she now receives a monthly injection, which has transformed her life.

Joanna was prescribed Aimovig (Erenumab), in May 2022 and has since had four injections, which has changed her way of life.  The drug is only available at Royal Stoke because of specialist Regional Headache Centre status.

She said: “Aimovig has been completely life changing for me. Sadly nothing has worked before and I had even started taking medication that had not worked in the past for a second time with no relief.

“I have responded very well and I now feel like my old self again, which is just amazing as I have spent the last seven years half living. For example, this month, October I have had no migraine at all; my life has been completely transformed!”

Aimovig is one of a new group of medicines designed to block the action of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and prevent it from interacting with its receptor.

Carrie Poole, Neurology Nurse at UHNM said: “‘As a Regional Headache Centre, we are very fortunate to be able to offer these new, specialised treatments to our patients. We see many people, like Joanna, who have suffered with migraine for many years and have been reliant on medications used for other conditions such as high blood pressure or epilepsy which, although found to be helpful for migraine, do not always benefit patients or can result in intolerable side effects.

“Although, sadly, we can’t always know if a patient will respond to treatment with an anti-CGRP monoclonal antibody such as Aimovig, our experience with these medications so far has been hugely positive.”

Joanna has now been able to get back to doing what she loves most thanks to the medication, working for her. She added: “I am now President of our local Rotary Club which is a post I was able to accept as the Aimovig had started to work. My Rotarian friends and I over the last six days have just run an event, for 29 schools with over 500 local school children. This drug has allowed me to run the event and attend every day!”