Migraine Treatment Getting Easier to Take
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.