A new oral drug called lasmiditan may be effective in the treatment of migraine, according to a study recently published in the Lancet Neurology journal.
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.
AdvertisementMigraine 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 of migraine.
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 placebo.
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.
Lasmiditan 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
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