Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and some smells, blurred vision, difficulty speaking and a lot of headache don’t seem at all pleasant, right? Now imagine having a crisis with several of these manifestations for 4 to 72 uninterrupted hours. Well, that’s what a person who has migraine feels.
If you suffer from this problem, we have good news: a new, very efficient injection against this condition should be available in Brazil by the end of the year, estimates neurologist and professor Mário Peres, from the Institute of Psychiatry at the USP School of Medicine. .
This drug is undergoing the latest trials in the United States and, according to Dr. Peres, it must be approved by the FDA (the body that controls drugs and food in the US) in the first half of 2018 and by Anvisa in the second half, then it will be made available here.
This is the first time in 20 years of research that a drug has shown such effective results against migraine: during trials, patients who received a 140 mg dose of the drug reported 50% fewer attacks per month, while those who received half the dose. had a reduction of 43.3%.
How does a migraine injection work?
The new injection is being produced based on a drug called erenumab, which prevents the onset of a crisis through the action of so-called monoclonal antibodies – the same technique used in some cancer treatments, which was recognized with the Nobel Prize in 1984. .
The name of this technique may be strange, but how it works is quite interesting: to produce erenumab, scientists “clone” a human antibody and then teach the cloned antibody to recognize a specific molecule, which triggers the migraine mechanism. .
In this way, the “clones” are able to chase and destroy these molecules (just like our antibodies do when they find a virus or bacteria circulating in the body). As a result, the chain of reactions that would lead to a crisis is blocked.
In addition to a reduction in the number of these unpleasant events, patients who tested the erenumab injection also reported a decrease in the duration and intensity of symptoms, a reduced need for pain relief medication, and an improvement in their ability to perform the tasks of the patient. day by day.
Another good news: although some patients reported that the injection site was a little sore, erenumab itself was well tolerated, with no significant side effects.
The importance of developing this injection
Until now, treatment for migraine was done with drugs that were actually developed for other health problems, such as some anticonvulsants (topiramate and divalproex), antidepressants (amitriptyline) and antihypertensives (propranolol).
These substances may even have some benefit for people who suffer from this condition chronically, but unfortunately, they cause unpleasant side effects, such as involuntary weight gain (amitriptyline) and memory problems (topiramate).
There is a class of medication for the treatment of migraine, which includes triptans; however, these substances are used only when the crisis is already happening, not being able to prevent it.
And it is precisely on these two points that erenumab stands out: this new drug does not have these side effects and still acts in a preventive way, improving the quality of life of patients.
As the research was done with monthly injections for six months, the scientists say that more tests are still needed to determine the safety and durability of the effect of erenumab in the long term. In any case, experts in the field are very excited about the news – and migraine sufferers are certainly cheering for it to be available in Brazil as soon as possible.
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.
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