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New Migraine Drug Shows Promise

Orally inhaled therapy effective with few side effects, study finds

FRIDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental inhaled drug called Levadex is an effective treatment for migraines, according to a drug company-funded study.

The phase III trial, conducted at the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, found that migraine patients who took the drug had greater relief from symptoms such as pain, nausea and light/sound sensitivity than those who took a placebo.

The drug provided pain relief within 30 minutes and sustained relief for 48 hours in patients with moderate or severe migraines. There were no drug-related, serious adverse effects, according to a news release issued by the university.

"The major advantage of Levadex is that it has the efficacy of intravenous DHE (dihydroergotamine) with a side-effect profile similar to placebo and better than oral triptans," Dr. Stephen Silberstein, director of the Jefferson Headache Center, and professor in the neurology department at Jefferson Medical College, said in the news release.

The study was funded by MAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Silberstein serves on the advisory board of the company.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about migraine.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Thomas Jefferson University, news release, Aug. 11, 2009

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