Posted: 12/14/2015

New Nerve Drugs Target Migraines

Man_with_migraine

Anyone who has ever experienced a migraine knows that this condition is much worse than your typical headache—migraines can cause an intense, throbbing pain that usually lasts from 4 to 72 hours and may be accompanied by sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting. Chronic migraines are debilitating, and up until now, there has been no medication that can completely prevent them from occurring. Recently, however, Scientific American reported on a new type of drug that soothes nerve cells and could stop migraines before they start.

Honing In On the Cause of Migraines
The cause of migraines is not fully understood, and as a result, treatment options have been somewhat limited. Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers, both of which are primarily used to treat high blood pressure, are sometimes prescribed for off-label use due to their ability to relieve migraines in some people. However, their mechanism of action is unknown, and not all migraine sufferers benefit from this type of treatment. Ergotamine and caffeine combination drugs, such as Migergot, are another option that sometimes help people who get migraines that last 48 hours or more, but they often cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

Triptans were the first class of drugs developed specifically to treat migraines; these medications (which include Imitrex and Maxalt) work by narrowing blood vessels and blocking pain pathways in the brain. They are effective at minimizing migraine pain in many people, but unfortunately, they only work after the pain has already started. Patients are instructed to take their triptan medication at the first sign of a migraine, and the drug usually starts working within about two hours. For people who get chronic migraines, this can mean that their daily activities are still frequently disrupted by pain.

Developments in Migraine Research
Fortunately, other medication options may be available soon. A group of neurologists have pinpointed a hypersensitive nerve system that triggers migraine pain, and they have been testing drugs to reduce the activity of these nerves.

The specific neurotransmitter that may be causing the pain is calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a chemical which is found at high levels in the blood of people experiencing a migraine. With this in mind, researchers have developed a new CGRP-targeting drug. In clinical trials, the drug decreased headache days (i.e. days during which a migraine attack occurs) by 60% in participants with chronic migraines, and 16% of participants remained completely migraine free 12 weeks into a 24-week study.

Researchers are now conducting larger clinical trials to confirm their findings. If this new type of migraine medication receives FDA approval, it could be the first time people with migraines have access to a preventative treatment.

By HelpRx Staff Writer

Get your Prescription Discount Card and automatically SAVE on over 50,000 drugs nationwide.

Helprx_branded_card_desktop Click-here-redbg

About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality. Subscribe to the HelpRx.info pharmacy blog through our RSS feed or get updates by liking HelpRx.info on Facebook and following HelpRx.info on Twitter.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

Popular Post

 

Get your Prescription Discount Card and automatically SAVE on over 50,000 drugs nationwide.

Helprx_branded_card_desktop Click-here-redbg

Popular Post

 

About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality. Subscribe to the HelpRx.info pharmacy blog through our RSS feed or get updates by liking HelpRx.info on Facebook and following HelpRx.info on Twitter.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

Helprx_savings_logo

About Our Savings:

HelpRx.info is a discount pharmacy service, partnered with a leading pharmacy benefit manager. We negotiate lower prices on prescription medications, that we pass on to our members for free. There is no cost to use our cards and coupon, and anyone can take advantage of our discounts, regardless of healthcare coverage.

Our savings assurance of “up to 75% off” comes from historical data from actual claims. This data includes savings for both brand name and generic medications.