Relief from the pain, nausea and other awful symptoms of migraine could become just a sniff away, as researchers develop new drugs -- including an inhalable medication -- for a condition that affects an estimated 30 million people in the United States, according to a new article.
In the article, C&EN assistant editor Carmen Drahl describes potential new migraine medications that may be safer and more effective than existing drugs. A class of compounds called triptans, which target dilation of brain arteries, now are the mainstays for fighting migraines. Although effective, they tend to work slowly and carry risks for individuals with underlying heart disease.
Several pharmaceutical companies are working on new treatments for migraine that target signaling proteins in the brain, including a receptor for a neuropeptide and a type of ion channel. In laboratory studies, these approaches appear to reduce the risk of side effects, the article notes.
One exciting approach currently in clinical trials involves using a cell-phone sized device that is triggered by the airflow from inhaling. The inhaler delivers a migraine drug in a user-friendly way and is faster-acting than conventional treatments, Drahl writes.
The article "New tactics for trouncing migraine" is scheduled for the Oct. 1 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine.
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