A ‘life-changing’ drug used to treat migraines has been approved by the NHS in Scotland.

Thousands of migraine sufferers are set to benefit from new wonder drug Fremanezumab after it was approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

It works by targeting a small protein in nerve cells called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which is believed to be involved in causing the pain of migraine attacks.

It comes as part of a new approach to treatment which benefits sufferers who, until recently, have had few options for what can be a debilitating chronic condition.

Migraine is a neurological disorder characterised by headaches which are moderate to severe in intensity.

It can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light, sound and smell.

The attacks are often severe enough to take a toll on someone's ability to work, interact with others and perform day-to-day tasks.

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The Migraine Trust welcomed the move and said Scotland had become the only place in the UK where CGRP inhibitors are approved to treat the condition on the NHS.

The Trust described the drug as the first dedicated preventive medication available to treat both chronic and episodic migraine, "thereby expanding its availability to many more people".

It also submitted new evidence about the effectiveness and impact of CGRP inhibitors during the SMC appraisal process for fremanezumab.

The new evidence included the findings from a recent survey of more than 200 chronic migraine patients who have recently been treated with a CGRP drug.

The survey found that using such medication improved the lives of 80 per cent of respondents, with many saying it was "life-changing".

Teva Pharmaceuticals produces the drug and said it could help some of the estimated 740,000 Scottish migraine patients - those with chronic and episodic migraine for whom other preventive treatments have failed.

SMC documents say there would be 13,886 episodic patients eligible for the £5,400-per-patient-a-year treatment, along with a further 6,527 chronic patients.

Chronic migraine is defined as more than 15 headache days a month, of which more than eight involve migraine symptoms.

Episodic sufferers have up to 14 headache days a month.

SMC chairman Dr Alan MacDonald said: "From the evidence provided to us by patient groups, we know that our decision on fremanezumab will be welcomed by those suffering from migraine who have not responded to previous treatments."

Gus Baldwin, Trust chief executive, said: "This is wonderful news for the many people in Scotland living with migraine.

"Not only is it an extremely painful and debilitating brain disease, but it also significantly impacts many aspects of the lives of those who get migraine.

"Our research has found that this easy-to-use treatment prevents migraine attacks for many and significantly improves their quality of life.

"This does mean that the national disparity in migraine treatment options increases, though.

“It doesn't seem fair that access to life-changing migraine medication within the UK depends on your postcode and I hope that this situation is rectified in the near future."