Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has approved a new prescription migraine medication called Qulipta. The news brings a lot of excitement for migraine sufferers: Early data shows that it could completely slash the number of monthly migraine episodes people have.
Migraines affect over 39 million Americans and over one billion people worldwide. In fact, the Migraine Research Foundation reports that they’re the third most-prevalent illness globally, and one in four American households contain at least one person who suffers from them. Scientists don’t know for sure what causes them, but it’s thought to have something to do with abnormal brain activity and nerve dysfunction.
According to pharmaceutical manufacturer Abbvie Inc, Qulipta is a once-daily oral medicine that works as a preventative migraine treatment for adults. As opposed to many current migraine medicines that work to stop symptoms after headaches have already started, this medication aims to keep them from ever happening in the first place.
In trial results published in August in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers provided the drug to roughly 2,000 patients who suffer from four to 14 migraine days each month. After 12 weeks, experiment participants taking Qulipta saw a 50 to 100 percent reduction in their monthly migraine days compared to those who took a placebo. Moreover, subjects reported having fewer headaches as early as one to four weeks into the study, meaning that the medication is fast-acting and wouldn’t require tons of time before taking effect.
“Millions of people living with migraine often lose days of productivity each month because attacks can be debilitating. Qulipta can help by reducing monthly migraine days with a once-daily, oral dose that works quickly and continuously,” explained Michael Severino, MD, vice chairman and president of AbbVie.
While Abbvie Inc hasn’t yet provided an official date for when the drug will be available, they’re currently aiming for October 2021. Talk to your doctor to figure out if a Qulipta prescription could be best for you!