Health Check: New FDA-approved migraine treatment

Health Check: New FDA-approved migraine treatment. (WJAR)

A new, novel FDA-approved migraine treatment works in a different way.

"The beauty of this medication is that it's using our own natural immune system to block the pain," said Dr. Frederick Godley, a migraine expert at University Otolaryngology, who is also the co-founder and president of the Association of Migraine Disorders.

"About 40 percent of people did not respond to this medication but still 60 percent do respond and by respond, I would emphasize that not everyone has complete relief,” Godley said, referring to the newly approved drug, Aimovig. “It mitigates, though, the pain."

For a small percentage of patients, the medication blocks a migraine.

"I got my first migraine in fifth grade," said 14-year-old Sophia Richardson, of Barrington. "I usually lose my sight and I know right away I'm getting a migraine because I've had so many of them."

"I feel pretty helpless. We know what it is and I know really all I can do is make her comfortable and give her an ice pack and a bowl for when she's nauseous,” said her mother Kira.

For that reason, the family is interested in a way to help reduce or prevent migraines. Godley said the new treatment is a once a month self-injection that costs, without insurance, more than $500.

However, he’s not sure it will be a first line treatment or who, exactly, would qualify. Sophia may or may not.

"It's a disease that has a lot of different forms and therefore there's a trial and error process,” Godley said.

It's a new drug in an already stealthy arsenal of migraine medications. More, he said, are on the horizon.

For anyone interested learning more about the latest migraine treatment options, there is a free workshop June 2 at Skyline at Waterfront in Providence from 1 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. To register, click here.

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