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Botox for headaches, contraception and a 'nation of sleeping pill addicts'

A round-up of the health news headlines on Friday 11 May

NICE has reversed its previous guidance and has given the go ahead for the use of botox to treat migraines. Chronic migraine sufferers could be given a 12 week course of botox injections in their head and neck if they don't respond to three other treatments first – at a cost of around £350 per patient.

 

We have become ‘a nation of sleeping pill addicts', according to the Daily Mail , blaming a 17% rise in use over  three years on money worries since the economic downturn. The Telegraph reports that the NHS is now spending £1.20 per head on sleeping pills.

 

The Telegraph and the Daily Mail have reported on a BMJ study which found that women using a contraceptive skin patch are eight times more likely to develop a blood clot than those not on hormonal contraception. They are also twice as likely to suffer a clot as women on the Pill.

The Telegraph notes that only 1% of women in the UK attending contraceptive clinics for the first time choose to use the patch, with 42% opting for the Pill.

 

And following the national coverage of Pulse's exclusive story that an NHS report recommended extending access to the contraceptive pill to under-16s in pharmacies, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service have found that four in ten women with unwanted pregnancies report difficulties accessing contraception. Ann Furedi, BPAS chief executive, said: ‘There has been much government focus on "problems" with abortion services… At the same time, real and pressing problems with women's access to the contraception they need to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy in the first place appear low down the list of government priorities.'

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