While my pain management practice focuses on drug-free treatment for headaches, migraines, TMJ pain and other types of facial pain — I do still keep track of industry trends involving new prescription medications. And news last month of a new study involving a drug to successfully treat migraines WITHOUT side effects caught my eye.
Drug Uses Antibodies to Stop Migraines
In April, researchers released findings of a preliminary study centered around a drug called Erenumab. It’s part of a new class of drugs, made up of fully human monoclonal antibodies, that block calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a molecule that transmits migraine pain signals during an attack. The medication is administered by injection and is meant to stop a migraine before it even starts.
More than thirty-seven million Americans suffer from migraine attacks, according to the American Headache Society. Of these, about 4 million have chronic migraine and suffer headaches for 10 to 14 days a month.
While some people are helped by over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen, others need stronger prescription medications, such as sumatriptan and ergotamine, which constrict the blood vessels in the brain and can cause dizziness or nausea.
First-Ever Migraine Prevention Drug
“This is the first-ever mechanism specific migraine drug designed for prevention,” said lead study author Dr. Peter Goadsby, professor of neurology at Kings College London, UK and University of California, San Francisco. “This will change migraine treatment for those who don’t respond to conventional treatments.”
Big Reduction in Migraine Frequency With No Side Effects
Researchers found that the drug reduced the average number of monthly migraine headaches by more than 50 percent for nearly a third of study participants. After three months, patients treated with the human antibody were nearly three times more likely to have reduced their migraine days by 50 percent or more, than those treated with placebo.
They also had a greater average reduction in the number of days with headaches and the number of days they needed to take drugs to stop the migraines.
No patients taking Erenumab stopped treatment due to adverse side effects, but the scientists noted that more research will needed to investigate if the benefits continue.
The drug is expected to receive Food and Drug Administration approval on May 17. If approved, it could be available for prescription, and insurance coverage, later this year.
Treatment for Migraines, Headaches in Pasadena CA
Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.