New inhaler provides instant relief for those who suffer from migraines - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/1/09

New inhaler provides instant relief for those who suffer from migraines

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It's hard to understand the pain migraine headaches cause, unless you are the person experiencing them.

"It's like you were hit by a truck. It's like you can't physically do it. You can't get past that pulsating feeling, this heaviness in your head, this throbbing, shooting pain behind your eye," says Shuly Edwards who suffers from migraine headaches.

Shuly says she used to suffer up to 20 migraines a month and medication made her nauseous, making it even more difficult to go to work or to care for her three young children.  So she enrolled in a clinical trial to try a new device called Levadex, which administers migraine medicine through an inhaler. The company, Map Pharmaceuticals reformulated an old drug that's been around for 60 years that usually administered intravenously to now be administered by inhaling it.  So far, it seems to be working for a number of migraine patients.  

"When the headache went away like it did in two-thirds of the patients, it stayed away and the patient tolerated the drug without significant side effects," says James Wolfe, M.D., and allergist.

"We also showed in our studies that we could keep the migraine away for 24 and even 48 hours on the back end. On the front end we showed it could treat the migraine very quickly," said Tim Nelson, CEO of Map Pharmaceuticals.

Shuly says she gets relief within 30-minutes of using the inhaler without the nausea that came after taking pills.  The FDA has not yet approved Levadex and more clinical trials are needed, but Dr. Wolfe says it could potentially offer an option to the more than 26-million people who suffer from migraines.

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