New Migraine Medications

Medication is not a one size fits all. New migraine medications are constantly being designed, tested and approved by the FDA. Hopefully you know by now that Botox was officially approved by the FDA back in 2010.

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Botox works by paralyzing “hyperactive nerve cells the way it paralyses muscles” using a series of injections.

Its success rates continue to climb.

Even newer are: CGRP receptor antagonists, inhaled DHE, Doxycycline and Memantine just to get you started on a few new migraine medications and future potential treatment options.

CGRP Receptor Antagonists – Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide

CGRP receptor antagonists is a new class of medication being tested for potential abortive migraine therapy. “CGRP is a chemical released from nerve endings that causes vasodilation as part of inflammation. A pill version of a drug that blocks CGRP has proven effective at quelling migraines within two hours in about two-thirds of people, according to one preliminary study.” (Rizzoli et al., 2011, p. 139).

So, the “CGRP’s dilate blood vessels along the meninges and flourish during migraines. The drug that shuts them down may fix migraines as often and longer than triptans, and without tripping warnings for patients with heart problems.” (Levy, 2009, p. 207).

However, there is much more research being done to test for side effects before the FDA will approve it.

Inhaled DHE – Tempo ® Migraine

Initial testing has shown that this special inhaled form of DHE curbed migraine pain in only ten minutes. The lungs are an excellent quick absorption delivery system. This drug also was found to ease nausea and sensitivity to light and sound in the early testing. (Rizzoli et al., 2011, p. 139).


New Migraine Medications

This drug is normally used for something else, which is the way most new migraine medications in the past have been discovered.

Doxycycline is a common antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.

According to "Doxycycline is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections, acne, periodontitis (gum disease) and chlamydia."

Case reports, according to Doctors Rizzoli, et al, authors of The Migraine Solution, suggest a significant benefit when used with “new daily persistent headache” or unusual patterns of migraine.


This is a N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor blocker medication that is normally used to treat memory disorders (Parkinson's Disease). In small studies, it has also shown some benefit to reduce the pain of migraine along with associated aura symptoms.

More studies are needed to see if these new migraine medications will be approved by the FDA for migraine treatment.

Helping Your Doctor

You might want to consider filling out this questionnaire for your primary-care provider to help your determine the level of pain and disability your migraines cause and find the best possible treatment available.

•  MIDAS – Migraine Disability Assessment Questionnaire

Being A Good Patient

I listened to an interesting interview yesterday where a doctor said she preferred 'good' patients who were organized. Those who had a note book, clear symptoms written down, a failed medications list and questions.

There is a good chance you will need to see a few doctors in your search for pain management. At the very least see your regular physician and a migraine specialist. You may also be referred to a Rheumatologist, Neurologist, and or a Migraine Clinic.

We have some other forms to print out that might help keep it all clear:

•  Doctors Treatment Strategy

•  Blank Medication Treatment Plan

•  Medication Notes

•  Medication Tracking

•  Symptom Tracker

Always Get Your New Migraine Medications from a Reliable Source

We can buy almost anything over the internet these days. Please only get your prescriptions from a reliable source. I realize this may be more expensive, but I think it is more important to be safe than sorry (or dead)!

Talk to your pharmacist, they are a wealth of information especially if you have a new prescription drug.

migraine story


1.  Rizzoli, P MD, Loder E., MD and Neporent L. (2011) The Migraine Solution: A Complete Guide to Diagnosis, Treatment and Pain Management. St. Martins Press: NY. (pp.139 – 141).
2.  Levy, A (2009) A Migraine Diary: A Brain Wider Than The Sky. Simon & Schuster: NY. (p. 207).

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