Study: Migraine drug offers hope to some sufferers

Published: Jul. 11, 2019 at 3:02 PM EDT
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Researchers in New York are testing a new class of migraine drugs. They say treatment could be a better option for patients who aren't helped by the current medications available.

Donna Esterine has suffered from debilitating migraines for years. "It's like a sharp pain right up here in my forehead, my eyes," Esterine said.

The 48-year-old mother of two says she's missed family time and work to try to cope. "I would take a lot of sick days only because I couldn't take it, you know. I'd have to be home, laying down again," Esterine said.

She took standard migraine medications known as triptans, but they made her feel nauseous. Then she enrolled in a clinical trial testing a new drug called Rimegepant. The drug belongs to a new generation of treatments that target a migraine molecule.

There hasn't been a new mechanism for the acute treatment of migraine that has come on the market since the early '90s, said Dr. Richard Lipton with the Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore.

New research in the New England Journal of Medicine finds Rimegepant successfully relieves pain and the other symptoms, including nausea and light-senstivitiy. Dr. Lipton's study, which was sponsored by the drug company, looked at more than 1,000 men and women treating moderate to severe pain. "People who have side effects to triptans, people who don't respond to triptans, people who have cardiovascular contraindications to triptans will be the ideal candidates for this drug," Lipton said.

The study also shows the drug has very few side-effects. Esterine says she's finally getting relief from her migraines. "It goes away so much faster so I do feel ok, I don't get any side-effects," she said.

Giving her the ability to get right back to her life.

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