Migraines: New drug relieves pain within two hours

Migraines: New drug relieves pain within two hours

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Improved treatment of migraines through new drug?

A new drug can alleviate the pain for a large number of migraine sufferers who have never experienced pain relief from taking existing medication.

A recent investigation by the Montefiore Headache Center in New York found that a drug called Ubrogepant can reduce pain from migraines in a short amount of time. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "JAMA".

Ubrogepant can effectively reduce pain

The drug Ubrogepant relieved the pain of migraines in just under two hours in just under a fifth of patients. In addition, it reduces annoying symptoms such as sensitivity to light and noise in 34 percent of those affected.

Previous medicines for migraines are not safe for everyone

Current medicines for migraines work by narrowing the blood vessels. However, these drugs have the disadvantage that they are not safe for people who are at risk of a heart attack or stroke. Ubrogepant could help these people treat their migraines.

How does Ubrogepant work?

The new drug blocks a protein in the nervous system that is involved in pain signaling, so it relieves pain and also reduces other symptoms. Migraine pain typically affects one side of the head. Other symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, or sensitivity to light, noise, and smell.

Even the low dose was a great success

The 1,686 participants in the study received either a placebo, a dose of 25 mg Uprogepant or a dose of 50 mg. 20.7 percent of the patients in the low dose group experienced total pain relief within just two hours and 34.1 percent were relieved of troublesome symptoms.

A better understanding of migraines leads to more effective treatment

The current study results could help to better understand the biopsychosocial background of migraines and to develop new strategies for prevention and intervention. For their study, the researchers analyzed the relationship between personality traits, depression and migraines.

Stronger dose improves treatment success

A higher dose of Ubrogepant relieved existing pain in just 120 minutes in 21.8 percent of the participants. Uncomfortable side effects from migraines were reduced by a higher dose in 38.9 percent of those affected.

How did taking placebos work?

In the placebo group, on the other hand, only 14.3 percent of the participants experienced freedom from pain and 27.4 percent of the people had unpleasant side effects.

Do triptans work better?

The researchers admitted that Ugrogepant is not as successful in relieving migraine symptoms as it is in triptans, an active ingredient used as a standard treatment for severe migraine headaches.

Some people shouldn't take triptans

If people are at risk of heart disease and stroke, they should not take triptans. This makes it necessary to find new effective drugs for affected people. Triptans, such as Zomig and Maxalt, also have various side effects. These include, for example, numbness, dizziness and sleepiness.

What are CGRP inhibitors?

There is another class of medication called CGRP inhibitors. CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) is a protein that is released by the trigeminal nerve in the brain and is involved in the transmission of pain. CGRP levels rise during a migraine attack, and are believed to play a key role in creating pain.

CGRP inhibitors are designed to prevent migraine attacks

Three CGRP inhibitors (Aimovig, Ajovy and Emgality) are so-called injection medications, which can be used regularly to prevent migraine attacks. Ubrogepant is different because it is a tablet. The drug is used when migraines occur instead of taking them beforehand to prevent migraines. Another oral type of drug (rimegepant) is also in preparation. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Richard B. Lipton, David W. Dodick, Jessica Ailani, Kaifeng Lu, Michelle Finnegan et al .: Effect of Ubrogepant vs Placebo on Pain and the Most Bothersome Associated Symptom in the Acute Treatment of Migraine The ACHIEVE II Randomized Clinical Trial, in JAMA (Query: 22.110219), JAMA

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