Some new drugs that are long-acting may help millions of people who often suffer from migraines. Studies have shown that two of these medicines, taken as injections, can cut the regularity with which patients experience these painful headaches.
The drugs are the first preventive medications made specifically for migraines, which work by disrupting a substance that functions to modify nerve signaling, and the progression of pain, CBS News reports.
Dr. Andrew Hershey, neurology chief at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, said that when it comes to treatment for migraines, particularly those who are not heled by pills or other treatments,
It’s a whole new direction.
Hershey had no role in the research but has tested other migraine medicines and has written a commentary published with the studies.
Over a billion people worldwide experience migraines, with over 38 million in the United States alone. These are more severe than ordinary headaches, symptomized by throbbing, squeezing pain and pressure, often including nausea, vertigo, sensitivity to light, noise or smell, and vision problems. They leave people unable to function in even the most normal activities.
One study tested the drug erenumab, from manufacturer Amgen and Novartis, in some 900 people who had migraines eight times a month on average. The participants were given monthly shots for six months, and the number of days they suffered migraines each month went down by three or four.
The second study tested fremanezumab, from drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical, which is made for chromic migraine. Around 1,000 patients were given monthly shots for three months, and the headaches dropped by four or five in the test groups who received the drug.
No side effects happened, but the studies were short, so long-term safety and effectivity are yet to be established. Both drugs have been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval.
The studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.