More than 39 million Americans suffer from migraines, a condition that has debilitating symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light and sound and frequent severe pain.
But researchers are very optimistic about a new, injectable drug that blocks pain signals in the brain.
"If you've failed things in the past, here we have coming for you something that will work for you, that was designed for you, that is well-tolerated," said Dr. Peter Goadsby, a neurologist and headache specialist at the University of California San Francisco.
When the drug was tested on patients who failed to respond to other preventatives, the results revealed a reduction in the number of monthly migraines by more than 50 percent in nearly a third of participants.
The drug is being called a breakthrough for migraine sufferers.
"It's designed for migraine, to work in migraine, to help people with migraine,” Goadsby said. “All the migraine people there will recognize a disconnect because when they see a doctor they very often get a blood pressure drug for migraine, or they get an epilepsy drug or they get an anti-depressant for migraine. What we're going to do is give migraine patients a migraine drug."
The drug is administered once a month and is a preventative measure in order to head off symptoms before they start.
"Migraines are not only a terrible problem to have but this uncertainty about what you can do on a day-to-day basis is pretty debilitating, how to plan your life and this is where preventatives come into their own," Goadsby added.
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to make an announcement on the drug this spring.
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