NICE approves Rimegepant for acute use on the NHS in England

Rimegepant is now approved for acute and preventative treatment of migraine on the NHS in England

14th September 2023

Today it has been announced by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that Rimegepant (Vydura) has been approved for the acute treatment of migraine. 

This follows NICE approval of the medication for preventive use in May 2023.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which makes decisions on drug approvals in England previously approved Rimegepant for preventing migraine in adults. 

It also comes after a decision by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) to approve Rimegepant (Vydura) for use within the NHS in Scotland for the acute treatment of migraine. 

A safe migraine treatment for those not responding to current migraine treatments

Rimegepant is one of a new class of migraine medication developed to treat migraine, which are known as the gepants. It is the first in this class to be appraised for use on the NHS. As opposed to conventional acute treatments such as triptans, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and other painkillers, the gepants don’t seem to cause medication overuse headache. 

We welcome this decision as we recognise that use of this medication has potential to significantly help people with medication overuse headache and stop others from developing it. It may also provide an effective acute treatment for those who cannot take other acute treatments such as triptans. 

Acute medications are taken during a migraine attack to treat the attack itself, while preventive medications are taken regularly to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. 

“This decision provides people with migraine valuable options to help reduce the pain and length of a migraine attack. It brings new hope. It will especially benefit those who have not found a treatment that works and those who get debilitating side effects such as medicine overuse headache from existing treatments. It will also benefit those with cardiovascular disease who cannot take existing treatments. Migraine is an incredibly misunderstood condition that can have a significant impact on all areas of life, including ability to work, maintain relationships and mental health.”

Rob Music, Chief Executive of The Migraine Trust