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Ubrogepant: A Promising New Treatment for Migraine

A recent clinical trial has investigated the safety and effectiveness of Ubrogepant for migraine, with promising results.

Migraine is a disorder characterized by frequent headaches typically occurring on one side of the head which can be accompanied by nausea, visual disturbances, and dizziness. A migraine attack can last for hours to days and can interfere with daily activities. Although the causes of migraine are not fully understood, previous research has suggested that genetic and environmental factors may play a role. Besides, it is also found that neurotransmitters (chemical messengers responsible for the transmission of information between neurons in the brain) including calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) play a key role in migraine attacks. CGRP is a neurotransmitter responsible for causing vasodilation (dilation of blood vessels in the brain) and inflammation.

In a recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers investigated the effectiveness of the drug ubrogepant for migraine treatment. Ubrogepant is CGRP receptor antagonist, a molecule that acts by targeting the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor in nerve cells to prevent CGRP neurotransmitter binding. The researchers conducted a randomized trial (study in which people are randomly assigned to receive interventions) that included 1672 participants, to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of ubrogepant. The participants were randomly assigned into one of three groups, with 556 participants to receive 50 mg of ubrogepant, 557 to receive 100 mg of ubrogepant, and 559 to receive placebo (control group).

The researchers reported alleviation of migraine pain in 19.2% of participants who were given 50mg of ubrogepant; 21.2% of participants who were given 100 mg of ubrogepant; and 11.8% of participants in the placebo group.  The researchers note that a large percentage of participants experienced a significant reduction in symptoms of migraine two hours after taking the drug.

This study reported that ubrogepant is safe and effective compared with the control group for the acute treatment of migraine. However, further research will be needed to determine the long-term safety of ubrogepant and to compare it with other treatments.

References

Dodick, D. W., Lipton, R. B., Ailani, J., Lu, K., Finnegan, M., Trugman, J. M., & Szegedi, A. (2019). Ubrogepant for the treatment of migraine. New England Journal of Medicine, 381, 2230–2241. doi: 10.1056/nejmoa1813049

Edvinsson L. Role of CGRP in Migraine. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2019;255:121-130. doi:10.1007/164_2018_201

Migraine. (2019, November 1). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201.

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