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Pain management

Novel migraine therapy relieves pain and bothersome symptoms

Some 19.6% of patients taking rimegepant for a migraine reported being free from pain after two hours, compared with 12.0% in the placebo group, research has shown.

Young woman with a migraine ss19


Migraine is usually defined as a moderate or severe headache with a throbbing pain on one side of the head

Rimegepant, a medicine belonging to a new class of migraine treatments, relieves pain and other symptoms in patients with moderate or severe migraine pain, research published in The New England Journal of Medicine has shown (11 July 2019)[1].

Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, who manufacture the drug, assessed 75mg rimegepant against placebo in 1,186 men and women as part of a randomised, double-blind trial.

Two hours after treatment, 19.6% of patients in the rimegepant group reported being free from pain compared with 12.0% in the placebo group.

Freedom from their most bothersome symptom, such as sensitivity to light or sound, was reported by 37.6% of patients in the rimegepant group and 25.2% in the placebo group. Rimegepant was not found to be superior to placebo in terms of freedom from nausea.

Nausea and urinary tract infection were the most common adverse events reported in each group; no adverse cardiovascular effects were observed. 

“These results confirm that rimegepant’s mechanism of action — blocking the calcitonin gene-related peptide pathway — effectively relieves pain and associated symptoms that occur during acute migraine attacks,” said lead researcher Richard Lipton, a neurologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and lead author of the study.

Rimegepant is not yet licensed in the UK.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207033

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