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First Drug That Helps Prevent Migraines Approved By European Health Officials

First Drug That Helps Prevent Migraines Approved By European Health Officials

There is currently no cure for people suffering from chronic migraines who can only use treatments to alleviate the pain, not prevent it

Nathan Standley

Nathan Standley

A migraine drug that could help significantly reduce the severe headaches has been approved for use in Europe by health officials.

For the approximately 600,000 people in the UK suffering with chronic migraines, this will be excellent news because there is as yet no cure for the condition.

The proposed drug, erenumab, also called aimovig, is designed to block the receptor in the brain thought to be involved in activating migraines - tests showed the drug halved the number of days that people with the chronic condition suffered with their migraines.

It is taken as a monthly injection, self-administered at home using an injector pen.

And it has now been approved for use in Europe by the European Medicines Agency.


It is expected that English and Scottish health authorities will look at whether the drug is viable for use in the NHS, but the drug's manufacturer, Novartis, says it will be made available privately by September after the European agency granted a licence for the drug to be used by patients suffering with at least four migraines a month.

Novartis said the drug 'is the first and only licensed treatment specifically designed to prevent migraine'.

Wendy Thomas, chief executive of The Migraine Trust, said: "We think this decision is wonderful as this new treatment has the potential to help many people with chronic and episodic migraine.

"Migraine is incredibly painful, and has symptoms that include vomiting and visual disturbance, so getting it frequently can literally ruin lives.

"That is why it is important that it becomes available to patients as soon as possible."


Although there is no cure for migraines, there are a number of suggested treatments used to ease the effects.

Many people suffering with migraines use over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, or if that isn't cutting it then the GP can provide something stronger with a prescription.

When a migraine attack strikes, most people say sleeping or lying in a darkened room is the best way of alleviating some of the pain. Others find that eating helps, while some only start to feel better after being sick.

For those struggling with chronic migraines, this news will certainly be a welcome relief. Even if it does involve stabbing yourself with an injector pen, it sounds like it is definitely worth it.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Topics: UK News, News, Drugs