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Suffer from migraines? New medicine just approved by the FDA can help prevent them

The new drug reduces monthly migraine days by 50% to 100%, researchers say.
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A new drug about to hit the market helps reduce migraine days, researchers say. (Fizkes | Getty Images | iStockphoto)

A new migraine drug is about to hit the market — and it can reduce monthly headache days by 50% to 100%, researchers say.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Qulipta, a “once-daily” oral medicine for ”preventive treatment of episodic migraine in adults,” AbbVie Inc said in a news release.

AbbVie Inc, a biopharmaceutical company founded in 2013, will release its new medicine in early October.

Scientists evaluated “the efficacy, safety, and tolerability” of the drug in nearly 2,000 patients who suffered from four to 14 migraine days per month, according to the news release. The results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Aug. 19.

The clinical trial found that a “majority of patients experienced between a 50-100% reduction in monthly migraine days across 12 weeks” compared with those taking a placebo, the news release said.

More so, patients had significantly fewer migraines in as early as one to four weeks, researchers added.

The drug is offered at three strength levels: 10 mg, 30 mg and 60 mg.

“We are proud that AbbVie is now the only pharmaceutical company to offer three products across the full spectrum of migraine treatment, which include preventive therapies for chronic and episodic migraine and an acute treatment for migraine attacks,” Michael Severino, vice chairman and president of AbbVie, said in the news release.

Qulipta is “the first and only oral calcitonin gene-related peptide” that blocks a major pathway associated with producing migraines ”specifically developed for the preventive treatment of migraine,” the news release said.

Migraines affect ”more than 1 billion people worldwide, including 39 million people in the U.S.” — and are associated with throbbing headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea.

They are also one of the leading causes of disability worldwide for people under age 50, according to the news release.

Qulipta will be sold alongside current migraine prevention drugs, including Eli Lilly’s Emgality, Amgen Inc’s Aimovig and Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co Ltd’s Nurtec ODT, Reuters reported.

The new migraine drug is expected to make more than $640 million by 2025, according to information from financial market data provider Refinitiv, the outlet added.

AbbVie bought Qulipta “as part of its $63 billion deal for Allergan” in 2020, Reuters reported.

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