Lifewatch: Migraines

WILMINGTON --  When a migraine strikes, patients are often debilitated, and the medication they take can leave them with other problems like drowsiness.

A new study is underway looking at a new migraine drug that would come without the nasty side effects.

Richard Higgins has been getting migraines since he was a child and is taking part in the study.

"When the migraine is full blowing, it's severe pain in my head," said Higgins.

He said they can get so bad he cannot function.

"Usually I have to take a break and tell the people I'm working with I'm not going to be much effective the next couple hours," said Higgins.

For many migraine sufferers, relief comes in the form of pills.

Neurologist Yousef Mohammad said about 20% of migraine sufferers take medicine that can make them tired, nauseated, and dizzy.

"These medications have significant adverse reaction, they have dependency, they have cognitive impairment," said Dr. Mohammad.

Now, he's helping with a national study to see the effects of a new kind of drug called Trexima.

The new drug is basically two commonly used drugs in one, but its not a narcotic.  The test is to see if this new drug works just as well without the side effects.

Dr. Mohammad said migraine sufferers in the study will receive traditional medicine, the new medication, or a placebo pill.  Then doctors will compare the results to see if it works.

Reported by Kristy Ondo