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New migrane drug could offer hope to sufferers

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A new migraine drug could offer pain relief for patients with existing heart conditions and those who do not respond to current treatments.

Telcagepant, which relieves pain to a similar extent as currently available migraine drugs such as triptans, is in the final stages of development

It is thought that around a third of migrane patients, who do not respond to triptans, could benefit from the new treatment.

The new drug, unlike triptans, does not cause constriction of the blood vessels so it can be used by patients with heart conditions.

The drug works by blocking receptors for the calcitonin-gene-related peptide at several sites in the trigeminal nerves and central nervous system, thereby interrupting the metabolic process causing the pain and resulting in pain relief.

The common adverse effects caused by telcagepant include dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and drowsiness.The authors concluded: “The clinical trials we have reviewed provide evidence that CGRP receptors are important molecular targets for development of anti-migraine drugs.”

Professor Lars Edvinsson, of the University Hospital, Lund, Sweden, and Dr Mattias Linde, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and St Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Norway, have produced the New Drug Class paper published in the Lancet.

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