First drug to prevent chronic migraines was approved in the U.S.

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Aimovig will be available before June 2018, so within a week. It was developed by Amgen Inc. of Thousand Oaks, California and Swiss drug giant Novartis AG. VV. The new drug is designed to stop migraines before they can start.It is working by blocking the activity of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a molecule that is involved in migraine attacks. “When CGRP is released, outside of the brain, it causes inflammation and blood vessel dilation – the blood vessels get big –  and that combination of inflammation and blood vessels getting big is the pain of migraine,” said Dr. Stewart Tepper, director of the Dartmouth Headache Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, who was a clinical investigator in the Aimovig trials..

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The treatment is  administered through monthly self-injections and requires a prescription. Patients given Aimovig saw their migraine days cut from eight to four a month, on average. Some minor side effects, mostly colds and respiratory infections, were noticed. But most important, some patients saw their migraines were completely eliminated, said Sean Harper, Amgen’s research director. The cost is estimated at $575 monthly or $6,900 annually in the U.S.At this time, one in seven Americans suffers from migraine headaches with symptoms ranging from vision problems to nausea.

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