Skip to content

    Migraines & Headaches Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    New Drugs May Help Prevent Migraines

    Two early trials show two experimental compounds reduced number of headaches for sufferers

    continued...

    Five to eight weeks later, patients given the drug were having 5.6 fewer "migraine days" per month on average -- a 66 percent drop. The placebo group also saw an improvement, of 4.6 fewer migraine days. Still, the benefit of the drug was significant in statistical terms, Lipton pointed out.

    In the other trial, 217 patients received either the injection drug -- by the name of LY2951742 -- or a placebo, biweekly for 12 weeks.

    Again, both groups got some migraine relief, but the benefit was bigger for patients on the real drug. They had 4.2 fewer migraine days a month, or a 63 percent decline. The placebo patients had three fewer migraine days, or a 42 percent decrease.

    Some big questions remain, however. Researchers have to figure out how long the effects of the medications last, and how often they would need to be given, Goadsby said.

    In the short term, the drugs seemed "well tolerated," Lipton said. People in the injection-drug trial had higher rates of abdominal pain and respiratory infections than the placebo group. And in the IV-drug study, people on the real drug had no more side effects than the placebo group.

    Still, Lipton said, "a lot more people need to be followed to prove [the drugs'] safety."

    He acknowledged that some patients might balk at the idea of an IV drug, which would have to be given by a doctor. An injection drug might be more acceptable, he said.

    About 12 percent of Americans suffer migraine headaches, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Many of them can manage with pain relievers, but about one-third need preventive medication, Lipton said.

    However, he added, only around 10 percent take preventive drugs, often because they don't work or the side effects are intolerable. "There's a huge need for new preventive medications," Lipton said.

    The current studies were funded by Alder Biopharmaceuticals, which is developing ALD403, and Arteaus Therapeutics, the developer of LY2951742.

    Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    Business woman with hand on face and eyes closed
    What aura looks like, triggers, and more.
    woman with migraine
    Get the truth about migraines.
     
    headache in the bedroom
    Keep headaches from ruining your sex life.
    woman with hands on head
    Test your knowledge of triggers, types, and more.
     
    woman with migraine
    Quiz
    drinking coffee
    Article
     
    Migraines Headaches Basics
    Article
    acupuncture needles in woman's back
    Slideshow
     
    Tired young man
    Slideshow
    spraying perfume
    Article
     
    man with a headache
    Article
    headache in the bedroom
    Article