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Greg Peterman knew that concussion was part of the job. After 21 years in the U.S. Army Special Forces, many like a green beret, injuries were not unusual. What Peterman did not expect were the debilitating migraine attacks that followed, throwing his life to an end.
“My migraine started somewhere around the third or fourth insertion. By that time, I already had a couple of concussions,” says Peterman, the 46-year-old veterinarian from West Jefferson, North Carolina. Mental health problems exacerbated the migraine attacks, prompting Peterman to eventually seek help. But it was not until 12 years later that Peterman found relief in Nurtec® ODT (rhyme pledge), the migraine medicine.
Manufactured by Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, it is the only FDA-approved drug to treat and prevent migraine attacks. A single dose of this fast-acting oral medication can last up to 48 hours for many patients. When taken as a preventative measure, Nurtec ODT can halve monthly migraine attacks. For Peterman, the drug really made a difference, but it was a long and painful journey that led him to it. “I took eight different pills. I took a lot of magnesium supplements. It didn’t help enough,” he says.
Nurtec ODT is a prescription drug used in adults for the acute treatment of migraine attacks with or without aura and the prophylaxis of episodic migraine. Nurtec ODT is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to rimegapant, Nurtec ODT or any of its components. Nurtec ODT can cause serious side effects, including allergic reactions, including difficulty breathing and rash. This can happen days after you take Nurtec ODT. Call your HCP or get emergency help right away if you have swelling of the face, mouth, tongue or throat or difficulty breathing. This occurred in less than 1% of patients treated with Nurtec ODT.
Lift in a pill
Nurtec® ODT is among a handful of migraine treatments approved by the FDA and is the only medication that can treat and prevent these disabling attacks. Some migraine treatments are administered via injection in the thigh or abdomen.
On the surface, migraines may seem like a manageable nuisance, but they are not, plaguing nearly 40 million Americans. Worldwide, more than 1 billion people suffer from migraine attacks. For 90% of them, migraines affect their education, career and social activities. It’s so bad that the World Health Organization lists migraines as one of the world’s 10 most disabling diseases. * It makes sense considering that the symptoms of migraine attacks include:
- Pain on one or both sides of your head
- Throbbing and throbbing pain
- Severe sensitivity to light, sound, odors and in some cases touch
- Vomiting and nausea
- Pain that can last for hours or days
Headaches and migraine attacks became part of Peterman’s life, exacerbated by mental health issues and marital strife. Peterman often tried to find relief in a dark closet, sometimes spending eight hours hoping the pain would subside. It took him away from his family life and contributed to his divorce. “Dealing with the normal life of everyday life was not so normal for me. I could not get rid of it,” says The Green Basque. “I had to deal with it as a father and husband. The migraine attacks came every time I was stressed.” Peterman avoided stressors that could trigger a migraine attack, which meant he avoided everyday life.
It was not until two years ago that Peterman was introduced to the Nurtec ODT. After being approved by the FDA in February 2020 for emergency treatment of migraines, the medicine landed on the Veteran Affairs form, and Peterman’s neurologist thought it was worth a try. This medication ended up exceeding Peterman’s expectations. “For me, Nurtec ODT really made a difference,” Peterman says. “The first time I took Nurtec ODT, my migraine completely disappeared for about an hour.” Of course, everyone’s experience is different, and individual results may vary. “
Nurtec makes migraines manageable
Nurtec® ODT is a fast-dissolving tablet that does not require water, which provides a convenient way to take the medicine. The medicine can also prevent migraine attacks when taken every other day. That’s something Peterman tested before taking part in the Daytona 500, a 500-kilometer NASCAR Cup Series race held each year in Daytona Beach, Florida. The event, which draws over 100,000 people, could easily trigger migraines for Peterman, but with Nurtec ODT, it did not happen. “Nowadays, if I have a high-stress event on the way, I take a Nurtec ODT for safety’s sake,” he says. Like most medications, there are potential side effects – abdominal pain, indigestion and nausea – but it has not affected Peterman.
Most importantly, it has allowed Peterman to get back to his life, enabling him to launch Blue Ridge Safehouse: a nonprofit organization that helps active green berets reintegrate into family life after posting. The nonprofit organization provides Green Berets and their families with free counseling sessions and guided activities to help the soldier and family recover in a stress-free environment. Peterman himself knows how hard reintegration can be, especially for green berets who risk their lives in combat zones in remote corners of the world. For many of them, it is harder to return home and deal with mental health issues than to train special forces or free hostages. “I would not have the motivation, the mental clarity, the desire and the drive if I still suffered so badly from migraines,” Peterman says of his charity. “Nurtec ODT helped me 100% start Blue Ridge Safehouse so I could start helping the guys follow in my footsteps.”
Important safety information: Nurtec® ODT 75 mg orally disintegrating tablets are a prescription drug used to treat migraines in adults. It is for acute treatment of migraine attacks and preventive treatment of episodic migraine. Do not take if you are allergic to Nurtec ODT or any of its ingredients. The most common side effects were nausea (2.7%) and abdominal pain / indigestion (2.4%). Please visit
Nurtec.com for full prescription information, patient information and important safety information.
*Source: American Migraine Foundation