Health Care

Drug offers hope to migraine sufferers

Drug offers hope to migraine sufferers”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved on Thursday a new drug for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults.

This May 10, 2018, image provided by Amgen Inc. shows an artist's rendering of the packaging for the drug Aimovig, the first in a new class of long-acting drugs created to prevent chronic migraines.

The wave of new treatments, of which Aimovig is the first to get approval, are going after the huge migraine market.

The FDA has approved a new migraine drug. The drug is a pretty large step for those who suffer from migraines, as most pre-existing medications do not prevent all attacks, but can make them less severe and reduce their frequency.

The drug offers new hope for the around 39 million adults and children in the USA who deal with migraines, which are characterized by an intense, pulsing or throbbing pain in one side of the head.

More than 10% of the people worldwide are affected by migraine, which can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

Results show that patients taking the drug had nearly three-fold higher odds of having their migraine days cut by half or more compared to placebo, with more than twice as many patients taking Aimovig achieving this reduction (30.3 percent versus 13.7 percent, respectively).

The drug named, Aimovig is given on a monthly basis by self-injections and will be priced at United States dollars 6,900 annually or USD 575 monthly. It will cost US$6,900 a year.

"Importantly, in clinical trials, Aimovig patients were able to start and stay on therapy - with a discontinuation rate of two percent due to adverse events - and experienced sustained migraine prevention".

The first study involved nearly 1,000 participants.

Tepper and Starling, like most leading migraine specialists, have consulted with the drug companies and enrolled patients in their clinical trials. In a third, three-month study on nearly 670 patients with chronic migraines, patients experienced on average 2.5 fewer monthly migraines.

Dr. Eric Bastings, deputy director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement: "Aimovig provides patients with a novel option for reducing the number of days with migraine". "We need new treatments for this painful and often debilitating condition". Side effects included constipation and injection site reactions.

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