Medicine

FDA approves nasal spray to treat migraines

Zavzpret is the first nasal spray approved to block calcitonin gene-related peptide, a protein believed to contribute to migraines.

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People who suffer from migraines will have another option to get relief. 

The Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer's Zavzpret this week. Pfizer says it's the first nasal spray approved to block calcitonin gene-related peptide, a protein believed to contribute to migraines. 

In a clinical study, people experienced pain relief as soon as 15 minutes after using the medication.

"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," said Dr. Kathleen Mullin, associate medical director at New England Institute for Neurology & Headache.

Why are migraines so debilitating?
Why are migraines so debilitating?

Why are migraines so debilitating?

Nearly 40 million Americans battle migraines.

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Migraines can last up to 72 hours if untreated, according to the National Institutes of Health. The throbbing and pulsating headaches can cause an increased sensitivity to light, noise and odors.

“When a migraine hits, it has a significant negative impact on a person’s daily life," Mullin said. 

While anyone can get a migraine, the NIH says they occur in women three times more often than men.

Pfizer said it expects Zavzpret to be available in pharmacies in July. 

Women who get migraines may be more likely to develop heart disease
Women who get migraines may be more likely to develop heart disease

Women who get migraines may be more likely to develop heart disease

About 18 percent of American women suffer from migraines.

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