Neurology News

FDA approves new treatment for adults with migraine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Ubrelvy (ubrogepant) tablets for the acute (immediate) treatment of migraine with or without aura (a sensory phenomenon or visual disturbance) in adults. Ubrelvy is not indicated for the preventive treatment of migraine. It is the first drug in the class of oral calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonists approved for the acute treatment of migraine.

“Migraine is an often disabling condition that affects an estimated 37 million people in the U.S.,” said Billy Dunn, M.D., acting director of the Office of Neuroscience in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Ubrelvy represents an important new option for the acute treatment of migraine in adults, as it is the first drug in its class approved for this indication. The FDA is pleased to approve a novel treatment for patients suffering from migraine and will continue to work with stakeholders to promote the development of new safe and effective migraine therapies.”

Migraine headache pain is often described as an intense throbbing or pulsating pain in one area of the head. Additional symptoms include nausea and/or vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Approximately one third of individuals who suffer from migraine also experience aura shortly before the migraine. An aura can appear as flashing lights, zig-zag lines, or a temporary loss of vision. Migraines can often be triggered by various factors including stress, hormone changes, bright or flashing lights, lack of food or sleep and diet. Migraine is three times more common in women than in men and affects more than 10% of people worldwide.

The effectiveness of Ubrelvy for the acute treatment of migraine was demonstrated in two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. In these studies, 1,439 adult patients with a history of migraine, with and without aura, received the approved doses of Ubrelvy to treat an ongoing migraine. In both studies, the percentages of patients achieving pain freedom two hours after treatment (defined as a reduction in headache severity from moderate or severe pain to no pain) and whose most bothersome migraine symptom (nausea, light sensitivity or sound sensitivity) stopped two hours after treatment were significantly greater among patients receiving Ubrelvy at all doses compared to those receiving placebo. Patients were allowed to take their usual acute treatment of migraine at least two hours after taking Ubrelvy. 23% of patients were taking a preventive medication for migraine.

The most common side effects that patients in the clinical trials reported were nausea, tiredness and dry mouth. Ubrelvy is contraindicated for co-administration with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors.

The FDA granted the approval of Ubrelvy to Allergan USA, Inc.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

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