Years Away From Migraine Treatment

July 25, 2014

It isn’t a happy thought. The idea of accepting life with agonizing chronic migraine pain for at least three more years is discouraging at best. This is the time scientists estimate their research for a new migraine drug treatment will take. If someone you love (and that includes you!) is suffering with chronic migraines, and qualifies for a migraine procedure, relief can be attainable much sooner.

According to a recent news story on CNN Health, medical researchers may be close to developing genetically engineered antibodies that specifically target the protein CGRP, or calcitonin gene-related peptide, believed to be involved with migraines.

If future studies of this migraine treatment prove to be positive, the injectable drugs would block CGRP and prevent the debilitating symptoms of migraine from occurring.   The studies were presented in April at the annual American Academy of Neurology meeting.

The first of two drugs being developed in the studies, ALD403, was administered to approximately half of the patient subjects in a group of 163. The second half of the group received a placebo. After two months, the placebo subjects experienced 5 fewer migraines per month, whereas the drug subjects had 6 fewer migraines per month.

At the 6-month follow-up, 16 percent of the drug subjects were migraine free. The second drug tested, LY2951742, also indicated improved results. The subjects who received the injections experienced 63 percent fewer migraine days per month compared with 42 percent fewer migraines for the placebo patients.

The researchers seemed optimistic about these injectable drugs under development. They indicated that despite reports by some individuals of adverse side effects, the migraine treatments were safe. Larger clinical trials will be necessary, as well as FDA approvals before the drugs are expected to become available. The time for these requirements is estimated to be at least three years away.

While this latest research news is certainly promising, it doesn’t help the millions of chronic migraine pain sufferers now.   For people who are not able to tolerate current drugs prescribed for migraine, or for whom these medications aren’t effective, a migraine procedure could be an excellent long-lasting solution to end migraine misery.

After all, if and when these new drugs, currently being studied, arrive on the market, there is no certainty that they will be effective and well-tolerated by many migraineurs who need them the most.

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