Two new drugs help treat migraines

NEW YORK (CNN) – There is exciting news for the estimated 12% of Americans who suffer from migraines.  New treatments are being tested that may help prevent these often debilitating headaches.

Two new drugs to prevent migraines show some promise, according to researchers at this year’s annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

What has researchers excited is that instead of stopping a migraine once it’s already started, these drugs may prevent the migraine from occurring.

Scientists say the drugs work by blocking a protein that is known to trigger migraines. One drug is given as a shot, the other intravenously.

380 people were enrolled in the 2 trials, in each trial, half got one of the new medicines, half got a placebo. Most patients suffered migraines between 4 to 14 days a month.  After taking the drugs, they had 4 additional migraine-free days a month with one drug and nearly 6 extra days with the other.  Those taking placebo, however, also saw a decline in days with migraines, but the numbers weren’t as dramatic.

The next step is to test these drugs with larger groups of patients. If the medicines continue to work safely and effectively, they could become available for clinical use several years down the road.

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