The last migraine I remember enduring was during my early teens. I was in the middle of a Graphic Design class, and a slight headache with some light sensitivity led to a full on attack. Thankfully, I've not suffered an attack quite as painful since. But for those who have migraines on the regular, the absence of Migraleve — over the counter medication containing paracetamol and codeine — in pharmacies is slightly worrying. So, when will Migraleve be back in stock in the UK, and are there any other alternatives?
It won't be for quite some time, sadly. As Bustle reported on Oct. 29, Migraleve's disappearance isn't due to discontinuation. I contacted a representative for Migraleve via healthcare company Johnson & Johnson, who tells me that while Migraleve Yellow "remains unaffected," there was "originally a supply shortage issue with an ingredient in Migraleve Pink Tablets, which has since been resolved."
The medication still has to go through regulatory checks as part of "an essential process that every over-the-counter medicine has to go through," and there still is no official date as to when they will return to the shelves.
Migraleve Pink treats the immediate onset of a migraine, and can also "prevent an attack from developing further," according to Migraleve's website, thanks to the added ingredient of buclizine. If you're still suffering from a headache after an attack, you can then take Migraleve Yellow to relieve the pain but it's advised that you do not take these tablets without a dose of the pink first.
People have taken to Johnson & Johnson on Twitter for a little more insight, as many rely on these tablets to relieve their migraines and are understandably upset that the pink form were seemingly taken from stores without notice.
One tweeted if there was any update on the Migraleve situation, as "nothing else helps," and J&J replied that they "will update the Migraleve website with resupply dates once further information is available."
Whether that's in the coming weeks or sometime next year, as some have suggested on Twitter, it's obvious that Migraleve is a life-saver for many migraine sufferers.
So what can you use in the meantime? If you feel like you may be suffering with chronic migraines, your best bet is to go to your local GP. They'll be able to prescribe you with triptan medicines specific to your symptoms if the usual painkillers aren't helping. According to the NHS, triptans are a "specific painkiller for migraine headaches," which are "thought to work by reversing the changes in the brain that may cause migraine headaches."
"They cause the blood vessels around the brain to contract [which] reverses the dilating of blood vessels that's believed to be part of the migraine process."
As stated by the NHS, even though there is no cure for migraines there are "a number of treatments available to help ease the symptoms." And if you do rely on Migraleve as one of these treatments, you can be safe in the knowledge that they will be back in stock soon.