On Thursday, the U.S. regulators approved the use of first drug, Aimovig, which has been designed as a preventive treatment for chronic migraines in people.
The approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clears the use of monthly Aimovig injection shots for adults suffering with migraine. The Aimovig shot is the first drug in a new class of long-acting drugs, which will be used as a preventive measure for migraines.
By the coming year, it is expected that about three other shots will win the approval of the FDA while several pills to treat migraine are currently undergoing tests.
Now, the treatments available to prevent migraines include pills, which are initially designed to treat epilepsy and some other conditions and the wrinkle reducing Botox. However, most of the migraine patients avoid using these treatments as they do not help them get enough relief or tend to cause severe side effects.
Aimovig has been developed by Amgen Inc. of Thousand Oaks and Novartis AG. The pen-like device, which will inject the Aimovig drug just under a skin each month, will cost a person $6,900/ year, and is not covered under the insurance.
People who suffer from migraine develop disabling symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, severe headaches and get sensitive to sound and light. It is estimated that around 10 million Americans face these symptoms frequently. These are most common among people who are in their 30s, especially the women, and can stay for long hours or in worst cases, even days.
In a study, patients who were administered with the Aimovig shot saw that their migraine days were reduced from eight days to four days in a month on an average. Each of the patients just had minor side effects like cold or respiratory infections.
However, the long term safety of Aimovig has not been determined and Amgen Inc. now has plans to keep a check on its outcomes to take future course of action.