A PRICEY gadget that can zap away excruciating headaches is to be made available on the NHS.
The GammaCore is held against a nerve in the neck, where it disrupts pain signals and relieves suffering.
The GammaCore is held against a nerve in the neck, where it disrupts pain signals and relieves suffering
Patients would have to pay around £2,940 a year if they wanted to fund the device privately but many will now get it for free.
It comes after health officials negotiated a confidential discount on the retail price.
Doctors will be able to prescribe the GammaCore to patients with cluster headaches who do not respond to drugs.
They often begin quickly, with the pain being very severe and felt as a sharp, burning or piercing sensation on one side of the head.
The condition, which affects 66,000 people in the UK, is felt around the eye, temple and sometimes face.
It tends to occur on the same side for each attack.
The attacks generally last between 15 minutes and three hours, and typically occur between one and eight times a day.
They are more common in men and tend to start when people are in their 30s or 40s.
The device holds out hope for the one in 20 who do not respond to painkillers, oxygen or anticonvulsants.
Patients can use the device regularly to prevent cluster headaches or when they feel one coming on.
Susan Haydon, from The Migraine Trust, said: “Cluster headache is one of the most painful conditions that a person can experience.
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“It is crucial that people who experience it receive effective treatment.
“It is therefore a very positive step that there is a new cluster headache treatment option available on the NHS.” Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “The NHS will continue to be a world leader in adopting and spreading life-changing innovations.
“Innovative technologies like this could not only alleviate painful symptoms but could empower patients to claim back their ordinary daily lives.”
Getty – Contributor Doctors will be able to prescribe the GammaCore to patients with cluster headaches who do not respond to drugs
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