New drug brings hope to migraine sufferers

DENVER -- One in seven Americans suffers from migraine headaches with symptoms ranging from vision problems to nausea and of course, that painful pounding.

The FDA just approved the drug Aimovig, which will be available before June 2018.

It is designed to stop migraines before they can start.

Dr. Michael Ament of the Ament Headache Center in Cherry Creek says this type of drug is long overdue. “This is an original and a first, we've never had a prevention drug designed for migraines.”

Aimovig is the first drug to work by blocking the activity of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) a molecule that is involved in migraine attacks, without traditional side effects.

The treatment is  administered through monthly self-injections and requires a prescription.

The cost is estimated at $575 monthly or $6,900 annually in the United States.

Dr. Ament says this new class of drug “might give you some more control and help you get your life back.”

Even with powerful drugs now available, medical experts say patients should maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid foods that trigger migraines, which can include red wine, certain cheeses and meat.

Apps like Migraine Buddy can be useful in tracking what triggers your headaches and logs weather conditions providing clues so you can be prepared.

Dr. Ament says, “It's devilish, it's hard for people to know, can they have that glass of red wine, does the weather front mean I can't go to the park? Their whole lives are affected." He adds the lives of their spouses and families are also impacted.

 

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