It’s estimated that migraines affect over 10% of the world’s population. The symptoms can include a throbbing headache, along with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or noise, and visual disturbances – and the effects can sometimes last for days.
Now, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug that could provide rapid relief for migraine sufferers. The drug comes as a nasal spray and could reduce pain and other migraine symptoms in as little as 15 minutes.
The nasal spray zavegepant, sold as Zavzpret, is produced by Pfizer and, according to a news release from the company, should be available in pharmacies in July this year.
There are already several types of medications for migraines, including nasal sprays. This medication works in a slightly different way, which makes it a safe alternative for people with heart disease and other conditions making other types of migraine treatment too risky.
Research has also shown that Zavzpret is a highly effective option. In a study published in The Lancet, 24% of people taking a single 10mg dose of the drug said they had no pain after two hours, compared with 15% of participants taking a placebo nasal spray.
The main side effect that was reported was a changed sense of taste, with around 20% of people reporting this. Some other side effects were nausea and nasal discomfort.
According to the news release from Pfizer: “When a migraine hits, it has a significant negative impact on a person’s daily life. For migraine patients, one of the most important attributes of an acute treatment option is how quickly it works. As a nasal spray with rapid drug absorption, Zavzpret offers an alternative treatment option for people who need pain relief or cannot take oral medications due to nausea or vomiting, so they can get back to normal function quickly.”