What a life-saver!
Worry not "co-migrainers", new drugs are about to help us. These may be able to stop those nasty headaches before they even start. Now, we don't have just one but two studies for this.
Both utilized "long-acting" drugs called fremanezumab and erenumab; injected once a month, to once every three months. Looking closely on the molecules involved in migraines, they've developed a drug that fights a small protein produced in nerve cells called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP).
It's speculated that the CGRP release in the head's nerve cells can inflame tissues and expand blood vessels. This may be the cause of the stinging pain of migraines, according to the American Headache Society. Both fremanezumab and erenumab are CGRP-blocking drugs— with fremanezumab blocking the molecule itself, and erenumab blocking its receptor.
The good news? From both the experiments, these two seemed to be effective at preventing patients' migraines! These successfully cut 50 percent of the participants' migraine into half the times they suffer in a month. Not just that, they even carried out their everyday activities better, with lesser physically impairment due to migraine attacks.
These drugs, however, are still not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as more research is still needed to verify their long-term safety and effectiveness.
This new class of drugs is "very exciting," said Dr. Kevin Weber, a neurologist and headache specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "They're the first ever medications ever created just for the prevention of migraines and headaches," Weber said. With only a handful side effects, and you even only have to wait for a few moments for the drugs to effect, he said.
"They're not a 'miracle drug.' They're not going to cure everyone's headaches," Weber told Live Science. But these drugs may be "another option for people who've failure a lot of other treatments," Weber said.
"This therapeutic approach offers new hope for people whose migraines cannot be treated with existing medicine," Dr. Stephen Silberstein, lead author of one of the studies and the director of the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, said in a statement. "If approved, this treatment would provide physicians with an important new tool to help prevent migraine," Silberstein said.
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