NICE has published guidance stating that Cefaly, a neurostimulation device for the treatment and prevention of migraine, can safely be used within the NHS.
Available since 2014, Cefaly generates precise micro-impulses through an electrode on the forehead in order to stimulate the supra-orbital branch of the trigeminal nerve, which is involved in migraine activity. Patients wear the device for 20 minutes every day as a preventative measure and at the start of a migraine episode to reduce attacks.
Research in Belgium found that Cefaly reduced migraine symptoms in around 40 per cent of patients, while an Italian study, published in the Journal of Headache and Pain, demonstrated that 75 per cent of patients experienced a 50 per cent reduction in monthly migraine days after using Cefaly for 60 days.
Cefaly is not associated with side effects and is safe for use in children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and those with chronic medical conditions.
The NICE guidelines mean that clinicians can discuss the benefits of Cefaly should the patient seek their opinion on the device.
Simon Evans, CEO of the charity Migraine Action, commented on the NICE announcement: “We welcome the NICE guidelines on the efficacy of the Cefaly device. Any new treatment for migraine sufferers will be well received by our members, particularly a non-pharmacological intervention, non-invasive treatment that can be used with existing medication.”
Bharat Vadukul, director of BHR, the sole UK distributor of Cefaly, added: “This is a very significant step forward for migraine sufferers and the clinicians who treat them. Cefaly may not be suitable for everyone but this announcement means that clinicians have another treatment option to discuss with their patients, either before they try pharmaceutical drugs, or when their drug regimen has failed."