Lifewatch: New medication for migraines

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - Migraine sufferers know just how hard it can be to function when the excruciating headache strikes.  You just want to crawl into a dark, quiet room - which isn't exactly the typical work setting.

"It's like you were hit by a truck," said migraine patient Shuly Edwards.  "It's like you can't physically do it. You can't get past that pulsating feeling, this heaviness in your head, this throbbing, shooting pain behind your eye."

Edwards suffered up to 20 migraines a month, making it extremely difficult for her to watch 3 kids under 7.

"The pain was just so overwhelming and the nausea was so overwhelming I couldn't function at all," said Edwards.

She got a little relief from medications, but they took hours to work and caused nausea.  That's why she enrolled in a clinical trial to try a Levadex, which administers migraine medicine through an inhaler.

"When the headache went away like it did in two-thirds of the patients, it stayed away and the patient tolerated the drug without significant side effects," said allergist Dr. James Wolfe.

More clinical trials are needed, but Wolfe says it could potentially help the more than 26-million people who suffer migraines.

If the research goes well, Levadex could be on the market in three years.