Migraine headaches attack the senses, and millions get them. Many sufferers say headache relief can't come quick enough. But there's a new treatment in the pipeline that could change that.
"When people are in pain, they will try just about anything," explains Dr. David Decker, a headache specialist at Florida Hospital Tampa.
Decker is watching a new potential treatment, coming from an older fungus-based drug. It works by shrinking the headache-producing blood vessels of the brain. The drug, when taken orally, has had its problems.
"It tends to cause a lot of nausea and it's prescribed with anti-nausea medications for it. So it hasn't been a very popular drug," Decker said.
There is a plan to change that. Allergan, the drug company that makes Botox (which is an FDA approved migraine treatment) is banking on a new version of the drug. It's called Levadex, and it's administered by inhaler.
"I think this would be useful addition to treating migraine patients," Decker said.
But there's a bit of a problem. Levadex just came up for approval, and the FDA rejected it, citing concerns about manufacturing and labeling.
"The lack of approval doesn't seem to have anything to do with the drug itself at its point," says Decker. "What it seems to be related to is the manufacturing process of the drug-- specifically the manufacturers of the canisters that contain the medication."
Allergan says it's addressing those concerns. The FDA is expected to take another look by the end of the year.
For more information:
FLORIDA HOSPITAL TAMPA: http://www.elevatinghealthcare.org/tampa/services/neuroscience-institute
READ MORE FROM ALLERGAN: http://agn.client.shareholder.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=756760>