The Next Generation of Drugs
In the works now are various drugs that target a molecule called CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide), which is believed to play an important role in migraine. “What’s particularly exciting about this new class of treatments is they’re the first migraine-specific preventives that have ever been developed,” says Peter J. Goadsby, professor of neurology at UC San Francisco, who authored studies on two of these drugs. In Phase II trials, the drugs he studied — one a single-dose IV drug and one a biweekly injectable — each reduced migraines by 63 to 66 percent (compared to 42 to 52 percent with placebo). This translated to about 3 to 6 fewer migraine days each month. He predicts that these drugs (or others like them) will likely be available in four to five years.
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