Is new migraine drug a breakthrough?

Local News

It’s being called a breakthrough for migraine suffers. A new FDA approved treatment called Emgality is the third in a class of new drugs that aim to stop the headaches before they begin.

Melissa Saffelo Boily planned the lighting and timing of her wedding around her headaches.

She got her first one at age 7, and ended up in the ER.

“It feels like a lot of pressure, pain. It’s hard to function. You can’t think straight,” she says.

Through the years, they’ve gotten worse, up to 27 a month.

That was before she took part in an FDA trial for the self-injectable drug Emgality. It’s a once a month treatment meant to stop migraines before they start. One of the drug researchers is Minneapolis based headache specialist Dr. Gary Berman.

This is a huge deal,” says Dr. Berman, adding, “This is the best migraine medicine that we’ve had ever.”

He says Emgality binds with a substance in the brain that may cause migraines and that it causes no major side effects.  

According to Dr. Berman, 50-60 percent of patients get a reductions get a 50 percent reduction in migraines each month

For Melissa, it’s been a major help. monumental. She went from 27 headaches a month, to 3.    

The drug costs about $575 a month. The company making it, Lily, is offering some patients their first year of doses for free.

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