GammaCore is now FDA-approved to treat both migraine and cluster headache attacks. Imagine putting a stop your next migraine or cluster attack with the push of a button. That dream is possible. Gammacore is is a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator. It’s not a pill, nasal spray, or injection. It doesn’t require refrigeration and doesn’t come wrapped in one of those impossible-to-open blister packs. It’s a hand-held device about the size of a cell phone that can be carried in a purse or backpack.
About the vagus nerve
- The lining of GI tract is the largest vulnerable body surface exposed to the environment.
- It has direct communication with the central nervous system through the vagus nerve.
- The vagus nerve connects the enteric nervous system to the brain stem.
- The enteric nervous system (ENS) is commonly referred to as the “gut-brain.”
- It includes the esophagus, stomach, large, and small intestines.
- The ENS is the only human organ system capable of independently functioning without the brain.
- The ENS contains over 100 million neurons and 30 neurotransmitters.
- It produces 50% of the body’s dopamine and over 95% of serotonin.
- 90% of the signals traveling along the vagus nerve are sent from the ENS to the brain stem.
- Vagus nerve stimulation can intercept, change, and mimic these signals.
Who should not use it?
Gammacore has not been approved for the prevention of migraine or cluster headache, or for use during pregnancy or by children under age 18.
It should not be used in those with:
- implanted medical devices
- narrowing of arteries
- prior surgery to the vagus nerve
- uncontrolled hypertension
- history of cardiovascular disease
- abnormal baseline ECG
- history of seizures
These side effects, when present, resolved upon treatment completion:
- shortness of breath
- hoarseness or voice change
- muscle twitching, discomfort, or pain
- change in taste
Other reported side effects include:
- skin irritation
- worsening of headache
- GammaCore is currently available by prescription for the acute treatment of Migraine and episodic Cluster Headache.
- Insurance coverage varies. ElectroCore is working diligently to get GammaCore covered by as many insurance plans as possible.
- GammaCore is available as a monthly refill. Each device functions for 31 days and is replaced by a new device each month.
- It can be used daily to treat migraine attacks without concern for medication overuse headache.
- More information is available on the GammaCore website.
- Hadhazy, A. Think Twice: How the Gut’s “Second Brain” Influences Mood and Well-Being, Scientific American, 12 FEB 2010.
- Powley, T, Phillips, R. I. Morphology and topography of vagal afferents innervating the GI tract. American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 2002 283:6, G1217-G1225.
- Young, E. Gut instincts: The secrets of your second brain, Neurosciencestuff.tumblr.com, 18 DEC 2012.