Migraine is a throbbing and recurring type of
headache that is associated with an increase in sensitivity to light, sound and
movement, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. It may be preceded by certain
visual and other sensory symptoms referred to as aura.
Migraine is caused due to abnormal electrical
activity in the brain, which causes changes in blood flow in the brain. A
number of medications have been tried out for the treatment of migraine. Among
the newer ones are the serotonin receptor agonists like naratriptan,
rizatriptan, eletriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, almotriptan and
frovatriptan. These act on certain receptors called serotonin receptors and
relieve symptoms of migraine.
A new drug
called lasmiditan is being tested in clinical trials for its use in migraine.
Lasmiditan acts specifically on a subtype of serotonin receptors called 5-HT1F
receptors and belongs to a new chemical class referred to as the "ditans"
. It has been claimed to be
devoid of the ability to constrict blood vessels. A prior study had indicated
that lasmiditan is effective in migraine when given as an injection in the
vein. The current study evaluated the use of oral lasmiditan in the treatment
The study was conducted in 43 centers in 5 European
countries. People with migraine with or without aura received either 50 mg, 100
mg, 200 mg, or 400 mg lasmiditan, or placebo (an inactive drug for comparison).
A total of 305 patients received lasmiditan whereas 86 patients received
The study found that the migraine headache improved
in every subgroup 2 hours after taking the medication. However, more adverse
effects were observed at the higher doses. The most common adverse effects
included dizziness, fatigue, vertigo, paresthesia and sleepiness.
will have to undergo larger studies to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of
the drug, before it can be introduced in the market.
1. Efficacy and tolerability of lasmiditan, an oral 5-HT1F receptor
agonist, for the acute treatment of migraine: a phase 2 randomised,
placebo-controlled, parallel-group, dose-ranging study; Markus Farkkila et al; The Lancet Neurology