FDA approves new migraine drug, giving doctors and patients hope

FDA approves new migraine drug, giving doctors and patients hope

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

One in seven people world-wide experience migraines, but that excruciating pain could be a thing of the past. The FDA's approved a new medicine to treat the estimated 2.8 million Americans who have it multiple times each month. 

Velvet Henry has been dealing with chronic migraines for about 20 years. She said she would try anything to not have a migraine.

"The doctor figured out that it was really really hormonal, starting in your 30's if you're a migraine sufferer, It's typically women and your typically going to get them in your 30's," Henry said.

At that time, Henry was getting severe migraines once a week. Not that she is in her fifties, they have decreased but have not completely gone away. 

"Everyone's is different but mines is on the left side of the head," Henry said. "It's just stabbing through the left side of my head and it's right behind my eye and right before I get one, I'll start seeing spots, or I'll see something out of the side of my eye and I know it's happening so I'll run to my house and try to get my Imotrex as fast as I can."

Henry uses a common drug, Imotrex which helps alleviate the symptoms of a migraine, but will not prevent or stop them from occurring. 

"You don't feel real well once you take the pill," Henry said. "You just don't feel good and you don't feel like yourself at all, but it at least keeps it somewhat at bay."

Aimovig is different. Doctor Eileen Sprys with Texas Tech Family Medicine said it is a monthly injection that could cut down the amount of migraines someone has by half. 

"Aimovig is a calcitonin - peptide gene antagonist," Sprys said. "Basically what that means is that it is medication that blocks a molecule that is sometimes implicated and causes of migraines. "

It will come with a hefty cost of about $6,900 per year without insurance. Henry is hopeful her insurance will cover it. 

"People who've never had a migraine, they have no idea that it knocks you out for three days," Henry said. "It just knocks you out of life, it knocks you out of work. I mean I barely functioned like through my sons baseball games and football games." 

Sprys said she is excited about the new option for treatment but cautions there is still more to learn about it. 

"Of course it's a new medication, so with any new medication, lots of things will unfold," Sprys said. "Whether that be benefits that we didn't expect, or side effects we didn't expect. Nobody said for sure, but I'm hopeful that maybe it'll be another option for our chronic migraine sufferers." 

The FDA has only reported side effected of injection site reactions and constipation. 

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