In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, a novel drug, by the name of rimegepant, was found to eliminate pain and reduce characteristic symptoms of an acute migraine in comparison to over-the counter drugs. The study was carried out by Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System for a large clinical trial and is now awaiting the approval of rimegepant by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "For the first time in nearly three decades, people with migraine not helped by existing medications may have a new option to find relief during attacks," says first author, Richard B. Lipton, M.D.
Migraines are debilitating and currently affect about 12 to 14% of people worldwide. It is neurologic disorder characterized by periodic attacks of head pain along with symptoms ranging from feelings of nausea to sensitivity from light and sound. Most sufferers experience at least one migraine attack per month with more than half left severely impaired during their attacks.
Presently, individuals with migraines likely take triptan medications that work to reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels. These drugs are not beneficial to everyone and can cause intolerable side effect. However, with the novel drug rimegepant, it opens the door for effective and tolerable treatment options besides triptan. "These results confirm that rimegepant's mechanism of action -- blocking the CGRP pathway -- effectively relieves pain and associated symptoms that occur during acute migraine attacks," said Dr. Lipton. "As someone who has studied CGRP blockers for more than a decade, I'm gratified to see their benefits confirmed in a large-scale clinical trial."