What Is GelStat Migraine?GelStat Migraine is a gel containing feverfew and ginger, two remedies long recommended for Migraine and headaches. What's different about GelStat is its unique OraDose sublingual delivery system. Each dose is packaged in a soft plastic vial with a tube, making it easy to squeeze the GelStat under the tongue where the medication is then held for 60 seconds before being swallowed. Sublingual administration allows the medication to be absorbed into the system via the network of blood vessels under the tongue, which affords much quicker absorption than medications that have to be swallowed and absorbed through the digestive tract. Although feverfew is usually thought of as a Migraine preventive, in GelStat, feverfew and ginger combine as an abortive, meaning that GelStat works to actually stop the migraine attack at its source. As an OTC product, it's far less expensive than prescription abortives, about $6 for four doses. Other OTC medications merely attempt to mask the pain of Migraine. Often ineffective, the overuse of these OTC pain medications frequently leads to rebound headaches. GelStat doesn't present a risk of rebound. It is important to use GelStat as early in the Migraine attack as possible.
How Is GelStat Different from Other OTC Products
Other over-the-counter Migraine products are either preventives or offer pain relief. What distinguishes GelStat Migraine from other OTC products is that it is an abortive, meaning that GelStat works to actually stop the migraine attack at its source. Other OTC medications merely attempt to mask the pain of Migraine. Most with moderate to severe migraine find these products to be ineffective or only marginally effective, and they have significant side effects. Most significant for Migraine sufferers, the overuse of these OTC pain medications frequently leads to rebound headaches. Unlike OTC analgesics, GelStat doesn't present the risk of rebound.
What Are the Advantages of Sublingual Delivery?
Sublingual delivery offers several advantages over tablets or capsules that must pass through the digestive system:
- more rapid absorption for quicker relief
- the medication is absorbed directly into the bloodstream via the sublingual blood vessels, providing improved efficacy
- with more rapid absorption, less product is required, which reduces the possibility of side effects
- even though the product is eventually swallowed, much less is passed through the digestive tract, meaning less possibility of upset stomach.
The Evidence To Support GelStatClinical Evidence: Curtis P. Schreiber, MD, and Roger K. Cady, MD, Migraine specialists, authors, and researchers conducted a clinical trial to assess the efficacy of GelStat "in providing acute relief from Migraine pain and associated symptoms." Some of the results of the study were:
- 48% of participants were pain-free two hours after treatment of Migraine during mild pain
- 83% were pain-free or had only mild pain two hours after treatment
- Migraine-associated symptoms were absent two hours after treatment in 53% of participants
- 41% preferred GelStat to their pre-study medication or felt it was equal to it
- 4 subjects reported side effects: 3 disliked the taste; 1 experienced transient burning under the tongue.
When used early an aura, it has aborted the attacks 75% of the time. When head pain has begun without an aura, GelStat has successfully stopped it approximately 50% of the time. The difference may be that not experiencing an aura lets the Migraine progress farther before I use GelStat. This is better success than I've ever had with an OTC product. GelStat has impacted my life. I can no longer take triptans, oral pain meds don't work for me, and I'd rather use GelStat than my injectable meds.
SummaryWe Migraineurs can all use another tool in our arsenal. To my way of thinking, it's good to see a viable over-the-counter abortive option, especially one that isn't contraindicated for coronary or stroke patients. As I would with any "natural" product, I encourage you to check with your doctor about using GelStat Migraine. Remember that such natural substances were, after all, our first drugs. The first clinical trial and my own personal experience are both encouraging. I don't do product "endorsements," but my experience with GelStat Migraine has been positive enough that this review might come across as one. It isn't. It's an honest evaluation. As we often say on the forums, "Your mileage may vary," so you'll need to try GelStat yourself to know if it works for you. After you do, email me and share your experience. You can find more information about GelStat Migraine on their web site, www.gelstat.com.
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