People who suffer from chronic migraines know how unbearable it is. As per World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, between 127 and 300 million people around the world experience chronic migraine.
However, there's good news for all such people who suffer from it, as researchers have finally found a medication that can prevent the severe headaches even before they start.
It's an antibody therapy against a key inflammatory molecule involved in migraines and it reduces the number of headaches that patients with chronic migraine experience per month and is in a phase III trial.
The drug, which is known as Fremanezumab is a biological agent that binds to and blocks the action of a migraine-associated protein called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP).
"This therapeutic approach offers new hope for people whose migraines cannot be treated with existing medicine," said Stephen D Silberstein, from the Thomas Jefferson University in the US.
By blocking this peptide, doctors hope to break the cycle of increased inflammation and increased pain sensitivity that contributes to migraine headaches.
For the study, researchers enrolled almost 1,000 patients and divided them into three groups. The first group received treatments quarterly, the second group received one treatment per month and the third group received placebo injections.
The trial lasted for 16 weeks and the findings showed that treatment with fremanezumab reduced the number of days patients experience a headache by an average of 4.3 days with quarterly treatment and 4.6 days with monthly treatment.
"We saw some patients with 100 percent reduction in a migraine, others with 75 percent reduction," said Silberstein.
The level of response varied between patients. The researchers also looked at how well the therapy worked relative to each patient's headache burden.
Its results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.