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New Migraine Drug May Be as Effective as Current Treatments

Telcagepant relieves pain without causing vasoconstriction; article also discusses topiramate


THURSDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Telcagepant, a new drug for migraine treatment currently in development, relieves pain to a similar extent as triptans, but does not cause constriction of the blood vessels, making it particularly suitable for migraine patients with cardiovascular disease, according to research published online April 22 in The Lancet. The article also discusses the use of topiramate to prevent migraine attacks in people with chronic migraine.

Lars Edvinsson, M.D., of University Hospital in Lund, Sweden, and Mattias Linde, M.D., of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, reviewed randomized clinical trials, meta-analyses, and safety studies on telcagepant. They write that telcagepant represents a new anti-migraine drug class: the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor blockers, which interrupt the metabolic process that causes migraine pain. Telcagepant's side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and drowsiness.

The authors also reviewed the literature on the use of topiramate, an anti-epileptic drug, to prevent migraines in chronic sufferers. Topiramate has been used as a first-line migraine treatment in many countries. Prophylactic use of topiramate for migraine has been shown to reduce use of health care resources.

"Telcagepant might provide hope for those who have a poor response to, or are unable to use, older drugs. In patients who need prophylaxis because of frequent attacks of migraine, topiramate is a first-line drug for migraine prevention in many countries; it is generally safe and reasonably well tolerated. Data suggest that topiramate could aid reversion of chronic migraine to episodic migraine," the authors write.

The authors disclosed consulting relationships with Allergan, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, and Merck.

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