PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s potential new hope for the millions of people who suffer with migraine headaches. A new study says a new class of migraine drugs is showing promise.
Researchers say the treatment could be a better option for patients who aren’t helped by the current medications available.
Donna Esterine has suffered from debilitating migraines for years.
“It’s like a sharp pain right up here in my forehead, my eyes,” Esterine said.
The 48-year-old mother of two says she’s missed family time and work to try to cope.
“I would take a lot of sick days only because I couldn’t take it, you know I’d have to be home, laying down,” Esterine said.
She took standard migraine medications known as Triptans, but they made her feel nauseous. Then she enrolled in a clinical trial testing a new drug called Rimegepant.
The drug belongs to a new generation of treatments that targets a migraine molecule.
“There hasn’t been a new mechanism for the acute treatment of migraine that has come on the market since the early 90s,” Dr. Richard Lipton, of Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore, said.
New research in the New England Journal of Medicine finds Rimegepant successfully relieves pain and other symptoms, including nausea and light sensitivity.
The research looked at more than 1,000 men and women treating moderate to severe pain.
“People who have side effects to Triptans, people who don’t respond to Triptans, people who have cardiovascular contraindications to Triptans will be the ideal candidates for this drug,” Lipton said.
The study also shows the drug has very few side effects. Esterine says she’s finally getting relief from her migraines.
“It goes away so much faster so I do feel OK, I don’t get any side effects,” she said.
The company that makes the the drug sponsored the study and is filing with the Food and Drug Administration for approval and could get the green light in the next year.