Maybe people who suffer from migraines could be getting some good news for a change – like having new migraine meds to stop headaches before they even start. People who get frequent migraines could benefit greatly from a brand new class of meds which are seeking to stop severe headaches before they even occur – as two brand new studies imply.
Two New Potential Migraine Medications
Each of these two studies were testing “long-acting” meds drugs that had been administered by injection from once a month and even up to once every third month. These new drugs are called fremanezumab and erenumab and have appeared to be quite effective in preventing the migraines of patients. It seems that on average, the amounts of monthly headaches were reduced by half for about 50% of the study’s participants. Even more, these patients also saw drastic improvements in their abilities to conduct their everyday activities and were found to be far less physically impaired due to their migraines.
More Research is Needed
Although the results are encouraging, there is still more research to be done in order to examine the long-term effects, safety and effectiveness of these two drugs. Also, neither of these drugs has gotten approval by the FDA as yet.
“This new class of drugs is very exciting,” claimed Dr. Kevin Weber, who is a neurologist and headache specialist from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, but wasn’t involved with these studies. “They’re the first ever medications ever created just for the prevention of migraines and headaches,” Weber noted. “These medications also appear to have very few side effects, and take only a short time to show an effect.”
Still, he also emphasized that it is very important to temper any premature expectations regarding these new drugs.
“They’re not a ‘miracle drug.’ They’re not going to cure everyone’s headaches,” Weber pointed out. Although a few people were headache-free immediately after the treatment, they were actually the minority. However these drugs are indeed “another option for people who’ve failure a lot of other treatments,” Weber stated.
The evaluation of fremanezumab was sponsored and funded by Teva Pharmaceutical, while the erenumab study was funded and sponsored by Amgen and Novartis.
Migraine headaches can cause brutal, pulsing or throbbing pains in the victim’s head, in addition to being sensitive to sound and light. Around 18% of people across the world experience some sort of migraine at some point their lives, and around 2% get chronic migraines, where attacks will occur practically every single day, the scientists said. Even though there happen to be a few existing medications to help prevent these migraines, most of these meds were actually created for other conditions — like depression, cardiovascular disease, and even seizures — and most of them have to be taken every day.
In these brand new studies, scientists examined medications that were created specifically for targeting the molecules that are believed to be connected to migraines. These drugs take action against a tiny protein known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which is created within the nerve cells. It is believed that after CGRP gets released around nerve cells within the head of a person, it will cause tissues to become inflamed and also the expansion of certain blood vessels, which could lead to migraine pain, as reported by the American Headache Society. No one actually knows the precise cause of a migraine – according to some experts.
Both fremanezumab and erenumab will block CGRP — fremanezumab will block the molecule itself, while erenumab will block its receptor.