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FDA backs headband for migraines

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it approved a nerve-stimulating headband as the first medical device to prevent migraine headaches.

Agency officials said the device provides a new option for patients who cannot tolerate migraine medications.

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The Cefaly device is a battery-powered plastic band worn across the forehead. Using an adhesive electrode, the band emits a low electrical current to stimulate nerves associated with migraine pain. Users may feel a tingling sensation on the skin where the electrode is applied. The device is designed to be used no more than 20 minutes a day.

A 67-person study reviewed by the FDA showed patients using the device experienced fewer migraines per month than patients using a placebo device. No serious adverse events were connected with the device, made by Cephaly Technology of Belgium.

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