U. S. approves the first medication developed to prevent chronic migraines

by LINDA A. JOHNSON, AP Medical Writer

This May 10, 2018 image provided by Amgen Inc. shows a depiction of the packaging artist for the drug Aimovig, the first in a new clbad of action drugs prolonged designed to prevent chronic migraines. On Thursday, May 17, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved the medication, clearing the monthly injection for sale. (Amgen Inc. via AP)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – US regulators UU They approved the first medication designed to prevent chronic migraines.

The action of the Food and Drug Administration authorizes the monthly sale of Aimovig for sale. It is the first of a new clbad of long-acting medications to prevent migraines. Three more vaccines are expected to gain approval for next year, and several pills are being tested to prevent migraines.

Current prevention treatments include pills originally developed for epilepsy and other conditions and the Botox wrinkle reducer, but many patients drop out because they do not help much or cause serious side effects.

Amgen Inc. of Thousand Oaks, California, and the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG developed Aimovig. Injected monthly under the skin with a pen-like device, the medication will cost $ 6,900 per year without insurance.

Migraines can cause disabling symptoms: throbbing headaches, nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Nearly 10 million Americans get them frequently. They are more common in people in their thirties, mostly women, and can last several hours or even days.

In one study, patients who received Aimovig saw their migraine days reduce from eight to four per month, on average. Those who received fake vaccines had a reduction of two. Each group of patients had similar minor side effects, mainly colds and respiratory infections.

Related: New long-acting medications reduced the frequency of migraine headaches

Some patients saw their migraines completely eliminated, said Sean Harper, director of research at Amgen.

Aimovig and the migraine drugs in development are directed to a substance called CGRP whose levels shoot up in the blood during a migraine, triggering symptoms.

The long-term safety of Aimovig, also known as erenumab, has not been proven, and Amgen plans to follow the results in women who become pregnant while taking it.

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