Medical experts are now hailing a new drug for migraine as an “incredibly important” breakthrough.

According to the data published in the New England Journal of Medicine, this new drug for migraine can ease the sufferings of people by shortening the duration of attacks and the debilitating effects of the illness. The drug known as Erenumab is said to be the first drug in nearly 20 years proven to prevent attacks.

To date, medical experts are still struggling to understand what causes a migraine. Researchers believe that the condition is a neurological disorder that involves nerve pathways and brain chemicals. While some dismiss migraines as nothing more than bad headaches, it seems that there is more to the condition than that.

A migraine is an incapacitating collection of neurological symptoms involving severe headache, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, and odor. Current statistics show that migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world. In fact, 1 in every 4 households in the United States alone has someone that suffers migraines.

With the development of this new migraine drug, people suffering from the condition may now have a chance to regain some degree of normalcy back in their lives.

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The New Drug for Migraine: Erenumab

Erenumab is a laboratory-made antibody that can block the neural brain pathway known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). It was developed by the U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company, Amgen Inc. in partnership with the Swiss pharmaceutical company, Novartis.

“Strive … represents an incredibly important step forward for migraine understanding and migraine treatment.” – Professor Peter Goadsby

Erenumab has already entered Phase III trial, called Strive trial, where researchers led by Professor Peter Goadsby of the King’s College Hospital in London, “randomly assigned patients to receive a subcutaneous injection of either Erenumab, at a dose of 70 mg or 140 mg, or placebo monthly for 6 months.”

From a total of 955 patients who went through the randomization process, 317 were assigned to the 70 mg Erenumab group, 319 to the 140 mg Erenumab group, and the remaining 319 to the placebo group. The trial results showed that 40 to 50 percent of patients from the two Erenumab groups had experienced reduced migraine attack frequency by 50 percent.

“The results of Strive represent a real transition for migraine patients from poorly understood, re-purposed treatments, to a specific migraine-designed therapy,” says Goadsby.

Simon Evans, CEO of the Migraine Action charity organization, deemed the new drug for migraines as a “sorely needed” option, hoping it would pave the way to start “real change.”

“Migraine is too often trivialized as just a headache when, in reality, it can be a debilitating, chronic condition that can destroy lives. The effects can last for hours, even days in many cases,” Evans said. “An option that can prevent migraine and that is well tolerated is therefore sorely needed, and we hope that this marks the start of real change in how this condition is treated and perceived.”

On the other hand, Zameel Cader, Director of the Oxford Headache Centre who was not involved in the research, found the study as interesting and a good step forward for the field.

“Broadly speaking I think this is a very interesting study and I think it is a good step forward for the field and I think it is a good day for migraine sufferers. This is probably the first example of a migraine preventing drug that was rationally designed, rather than serendipitously found,” Cader went on to say.

Are you one of the millions suffering from migraines? What do you do, if anything, to treat them?

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