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Drugs relieve pain from migraine


Migraine sufferers could in future benefit from drugs that target a peptide which is released in the brain during a migraine.

Writing in The Lancet, Dr Stephen Silberstein, of Thomas Jefferson University in the US, reports that olcegepant – an intravenous drug that targets gene-related peptide (CGRP) – has been shown to relieve migraine pain by 66% compared with 27% for placebo.

Meanwhile, another CGRP drug, telcagepant, was as effective at reducing pain as the conventional migraine treatment zolmitriptan.

Dr Silberstein commented: “Telcagepant was effective and generally well tolerated for acute migraine treatment.

“Phase III trials are positive with results similar to those with zolmitriptan and an adverse-event profile similar to that for placebo and lower than that with zolmitriptan.”

Migraine with aura – sensory phenomena that occur before the migraine itself, such as visual flashes – roughly doubles the risk of heart attack, increases the risk of angina by 71%, and more than doubles the risk of death from ischaemic cardiovascular disease.

People with migraine also have an increased risk of having a poor cholesterol profile and high blood pressure, and a parental history of early heart attack.

Copyright PA Business 2008

The Lancet

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