Migraine Treatment Getting Easier to Take
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Both pills are designed to dissolve on top of the tongue rather
than under it. The primary advantage of the new oral formulations, say
researchers, is that they can be taken without water, which may be helpful for
patients who have trouble swallowing pills without it, or for those whose
migraines are accompanied by nausea and can't keep anything down.
But when it comes to how well these drugs work, the melt
formulations are comparable to, but no better than, tablets.
"The benefit of the drug is in reducing pain. That does not
mean pain-free -- it's ... very similar to Zomig tablets," says Allan
Purdy, MD, professor of medicine at Dalhousie University and chief of neurology
at Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- Migraine sufferers have a hard time getting relief because the available
medications can cause side effects, pills can be difficult to swallow because
of nausea, and the drugs just don't work well for some people.
- One recent improvement is a new form of the drug Imitrex, now available as
a nasal spray, which may be a good option for teenage migraine sufferers.
- Two other drugs, Maxalt MLT and Zomig (which is not yet available
commercially), are now made in fast-dissolving, flavored versions and could be
useful for those who have nausea and can't keep anything down.