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First Drugs To Prevent Migraines In Final Stages Of Testing

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The first drugs to prevent migraines are in the final stages of testing, good news for the more than 36 million Americans who suffer from the debilitating headaches.

CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reported Wednesday that researchers have finally worked out some of the very basic causes of migraines, zeroing in on a molecule called CGRP, which seems to cause a whole cascade of events that leads to a migraine.

There are now four drugs being tested to block it.

"They're called CGRP – calcitonin gene-related peptide antibodies – and they're injections that will be given once a month in an attempt to prevent frequent headaches from occurring in the first place," Dr. Larry Newman, of Mount Sinai West, told Gomez. "They're antibodies so they work by interfering with their actions, decrease the migraines from developing in the first place."

In clinical trials, the CGRP drugs have proved remarkably safe and very effective.

"At least 50 percent have 50 percent reduction in frequency of their attacks," Newman explained. "There's also a subgroup we call super responders, and about 15 to 16 percent of them are rendered completely headache free after these injections."

Nina Singleton is excited for this new treatment as she suffers migraines almost every day.

"It would be a very good thing for me and my family," she said.

Gomez reports the injections will probably have to be given once a month.

There's no word yet on prices, and it will still probably be a couple of years before they're actually on the market.

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