24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Are Your Symptoms From COVID-19 or Seasonal Allergies?'Gold Standard' Clinical Trial Finds Hydroxychloroquine Won't Prevent COVID-19Plasma Therapy Aids Recovery in Critically Ill COVID-19 PatientsSimilar to Adults, Obesity Raises Kids' Odds for Severe COVID-19People Are Avoiding the ER During COVID-19 Crisis at Their Peril: StudyCase Study Examines What's Behind Severe Kids' Illness After COVID-19Many Protests Happening in Cities With High Numbers of New COVID-19 CasesAre Food Allergies Under-Diagnosed in Poor Families?Coronavirus Pandemic Spurring Mental Health Crisis, Especially in the YoungSinus Infection? 'Good' Germs in Your Nose May Be KeyFinal States Reopen Amid Worries That Protests Will Spark New COVID InfectionsAHA News: Looking for Ways to Protect Against Pandemic PTSDAHA News: Both Blood Pressure Numbers Key to Pinpointing Heart Attack, Stroke Risk in Young AdultsCOVID-19 Cases Drop in Warm Weather, But Not MuchCOVID-19 Exacts Emotional Toll on DoctorsLast Year's NYC Measles Outbreak Has Lessons for COVID Crisis6 Feet of Social Distancing Best, but Even 3 Feet Should Help: StudyInflammatory Bowel Disease, Celiac Are Linked: ReviewCOVID-19 Rates May Be Lower Than Thought for Pregnant WomenAs Postponed Surgeries Resume, Can U.S. Hospitals Handle the Strain?Most Americans Still More Worried About COVID-19 Spread Than the EconomyWhat to Know If You're Headed to College With Asthma or AllergiesCoronavirus Was Already Spreading in U.S. in January: StudyAHA News: Inherited High Cholesterol May Be Common in People With Heart DiseaseDVT Clots Strike Many Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients: StudyYour Eyewear and COVID-19 SafetyPandemic Having More Impact on U.S. Hospitals Than Thought: StudyBig Need for Blood Donations as Postponed Surgeries ResumeAs Hard-Hit Areas of America Show Slowing in Coronavirus Cases, Other Regions See SpikesHydroxychloroquine May Worsen Odds for Cancer Patients With COVID-191 in 10 Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients With Diabetes Dies: StudyAHA News: How Bacteria in Your Gut Interact With the Mind and BodyMusic Might Help Soothe Ailing HeartsCould an Injected Electrode Control Your Pain Without Drugs?100,000 Dead, 40 Million Unemployed: America Hits Grim Pandemic MilestonesFDA Approves IV Artesunate for Severe Malaria'Silent' COVID-19 More Widespread Than ThoughtDrug Combos May Be Advance Against Heart FailurePollen Fragments Linger After Rains, Leaving Allergy Sufferers MiserableA New Hip or Knee Can Do a Marriage Good, Study FindsOnly Half of Americans Say They'd Get a Coronavirus Vaccine: SurveyAlzheimer's Gene Linked to Severe COVID-19 RiskCoronavirus Cases Ticking Upwards in Nearly a Dozen U.S. StatesLockdown Got You Down? Experts Offer Tips to De-StressCould a Hormone Help Spur High Blood Pressure?Nursing Homes Are Ground Zero for COVID-19Getting Back to Work Safely After LockdownRemdesivir Will Not Be Enough to Curb COVID-19, Study FindsOutdoor Swimming Pools Not a COVID-19 Risk: ExpertStrokes Are Deadlier When They Hit COVID-19 Patients
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

New Migraine Drug Might Help When Other Meds Don't

HealthDay News
by By Amy NortonHealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jul 10th 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, July 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new migraine drug might offer an alternative to people who do not get relief from current medications, a new trial suggests.

The drug, called rimegepant, hasn't yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But it belongs to a new class of drugs that has come to the market within the past year -- known as CGRP inhibitors.

CGRP is a small protein that is released by the trigeminal nerve during migraine attacks, research shows. It's believed to play a key role in generating migraine misery.

The three CGRP inhibitors that are already approved by the FDA are all injected drugs that are used regularly to prevent migraine attacks.

But rimegepant is different because it's an oral medication that treats migraines in progress, explained lead researcher Dr. Richard Lipton.

His team found that among nearly 1,200 migraine patients, the drug outperformed inactive placebo tablets. About 20% of patients who used one dose of rimegepant were pain-free within two hours, compared with 12% of placebo users.

Many other patients, while not pain-free, still got relief, said Lipton, who directs the Montefiore Headache Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

He is also a paid consultant to rimegepant developer Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, which funded the trial. The findings are published in the July 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the United States alone, over 37 million people suffer from migraines, according to the American Migraine Foundation. The headaches cause severe pain, and often additional symptoms such as sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and visual disturbances.

People with milder migraines may find general pain relievers like naproxen and acetaminophen are enough, according to the foundation. For more severe attacks, there are "migraine-specific" drugs called triptans, which target the brain chemical serotonin.

Triptans have been used for decades, but they don't help everyone, Lipton said. They also have side effects -- like numbness, dizziness and sleepiness -- that can make them difficult to take.

Beyond that, triptans constrict the blood vessels, and people at high risk of heart attack or stroke cannot use them.

If approved, Lipton said, rimegepant would offer a new option for those patients.

It would not, however, replace triptans, which are available as low-cost generics. For "very reasonable economic reasons," Lipton said, they'll still be the first choice for acute migraine treatment.

Dr. Rachel Colman is an assistant professor of neurology at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine in New York City. She wasn't involved with the study, but reviewed the findings.

Colman agreed that an alternative for treating migraines would be welcome. "There's a significant need," she said, "and it would be wonderful to have an additional option that's a targeted agent."

The trial included 1,186 adults with migraines that struck two to eight times per month, and were moderate to severe in intensity. About half were randomly assigned to take one dose of rimegepant the next time they had a migraine; the other half were given an identical-looking placebo tablet.

Patients used electronic diaries to rate their symptoms before and after taking the tablet.

Overall, the real drug was more effective in erasing, or at least easing, pain within two hours. Of rimegepant users, 58% said their pain had dissipated, versus 43% of placebo users.

Patients also rated their "most bothersome" symptom -- whether it was pain, nausea or sensitivity to light or sound. Just under 38% of rimegepant users were free of their most bothersome symptom within two hours. That compared with 25% of placebo users.

As for safety, Colman said the findings were "reassuring." After a single dose, just under 2% of rimegepant patients had nausea, and 1.5% developed a urinary tract infection.

There are still questions, though, Colman said. "This trial looked at a single treatment," she noted. "Does the drug continue to be effective over time? Consistency is important."

It would also be helpful, Colman said, for studies to focus on patients who'd failed to benefit from triptans, or who cannot take the drugs.

A separate trial in the same journal focused on cluster headaches -- a rare disorder that affects about 0.1% of the population. It causes daily bouts of intense pain for a period of weeks to months at a time.

The trial, of 106 patients, tested a new injection drug called galcanezumab, meant to prevent cluster headaches. In the three weeks after one injection, patients suffered about nine fewer headaches per week -- versus five fewer among patients given a placebo injection.

The researchers, led by Dr. Peter Goadsby of King's College London in England, said larger, longer studies are needed to see if the benefit holds up.

More information

For more facts and resources for migraines, visit the American Migraine Foundation.