The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved on Thursday a new migraine treatment by Amgen and Novartis that doctors have said could change the lives of patients through lowering the count of migraine days patients suffer each month.
Aimovig, the drug, was shown in three separate clinical trials to have better results than that of a placebo in lowering incidences of migraines.
Migraines differ in strength depending upon the type, but are debilitating, causing great pain for several hours and even days. They often cause nausea, vomiting and/or extreme sensitivity to sound and light.
For those who suffer from migraines, the just approved medicine appears to be a potentially powerful relief.
One neurologist said that he believes that treatment of migraines will be revolutionized. He called the drug the first treatment that is directed toward the prevention of migraines.
Currently, said the neurologist, clinicians usually use drugs made for treating blood pressure and drugs used for seizures that at times prevent migraines.
It has been estimated that in the United States alone, over 37 million people have migraines, and studies suggest that likely as many as 13% of the U.S. adult population has them with between two million to three million being chronic sufferers.
Women are three times more apt to suffer migraines than men, and the condition is most prevalent in the age group of 35 to 55 years old.
The data the companies submitted suggest that this new medicine has the potential to eliminate migraines for a few days each month. The treatment’s first clinical trial evaluated more than 995 patients with migraine histories. Patients that used the drug suffered between one and two fewer migraine days each month than those taking a placebo.
In another clinical study, again that compared the treatment to a placebo, 577 patients during a three-month period had one fewer migraine day per month on average. For the third study, the comparison was almost 2.5 fewer migraine days per month.
The treatment is given just once per month through a self-injection. The treatment is a member of a new type of drug that works through blocking action of a molecule that is involved in migraines called calcitonin gene-related peptide.
Migraines can arise during childhood, adolescence or when someone is a young adult.