New, long-acting drugs cut frequency of migraine headaches

Photo credit: GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images

New, long-acting drugs may hold hope for millions of people who often suffer migraines.

The medicines are given as shots every month or so, and studies of two of them found they cut the frequency of the notoriously painful and disabling headaches.

The drugs are the first preventive medicines developed specifically for migraines. They work by interfering with a substance involved in modifying nerve signaling and progression of pain and symptoms.

In studies published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine, the drugs gave migraine sufferers one or two more days each month free of headaches.

Two of the drugs are under U.S. Food and Drug Administration review; two similar ones are also in testing.