A new drug called erenumab is found to reduce the length of migraine attacks by up to 50 percent in some people. This looks promising for those who are suffering from migraines that affect about 12 percent of children and adults in the United States.
The findings of the clinical trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The clinical trial was led by Dr. Peter Goadsby, the study leader from King’s College Hospital in the United Kingdom and other colleagues, according to Medical News Today.
Erenumab is developed by pharmaceutical company Novartis. This drug is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the CGRP receptor, which is a neural pathway.
In the study, the researchers examined 955 people with an episodic migraine. Some participants were given erenumab for six months and others took a placebo. The team compared them and found that by four to six months, the length of migraine days was reduced by at least 50 percent for those 43 percent of patients injected with a 70-milligram dose of erenumab every month or experienced a 3.2-day reduction in the number of migraine days.
Meanwhile, those who received a 140-milligram dose of erenumab had similar results and experienced a 3.7-day reduction in the number of migraine days. On the other hand, those who received the placebo had only about the 1.8-day reduction in the number of migraine days for over six months, according to Time.
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In addition, those who received a dose of erenumab had improvements in physical impairments that were caused by a migraine. It is also shown that erenumab has reduced the use of acute migraine medication for over six months of study.
Dr. Goadsby said that the results of the study indicate that blocking the CGRP pathway is a feasible strategy for preventing migraine attacks and reducing their severity. He further said that this study represents a significant step forward for migraine treatment and migraine understanding.
The new drug has been submitted for approval by the Food and Drug Administration. It is expected that it will be in the market in 2018.
Meanwhile, a migraine is a complex condition of a headache, in which it is recurring, severe and painful that often appears on one side of the head. It could last for hours or even days. A migraine affects people aged 15 to 55 years old.