February 19, 2020

Several New Migraine Treatments Near FDA Approval

The United States Food & Drug Administration is likely to approve several promising new migraine treatments in 2011.   The treatment perhaps closest to market is the Zelrix patch, manufactured by NuPathe Pharmaceuticals.   According to NuPathe’s web site,

Zelrix utilizes SmartRelief, our proprietary transdermal delivery technology. SmartRelief consists of a controlled delivery technology that uses a mild electrical current to actively deliver medication through the skin in a process called iontophoresis.

zelrix transdermal patchAs you can see, the Zelrix patch looks like a large bandage with batteries and electrodes embedded therein.  The batteries generate a mild electrical current to push the medicine into the skin.   Patients who participated in one of the clinical trials enjoyed the benefit of an effective medication but did not experience the nausea and queasiness associated with traditional oral medications.


Another pharmaceutical company, Map Pharmaceuticals of Mountain View, California, is developing a mist inhaler designed to infuse the drug dihydroergotamine (DHE) into the bloodstream.  DHE is considered one of the more effective drug treatments for migraines, but it must be administered intravenously.  If Map Pharmaceutical’s formulation (called Levadex) is approved, more migraine sufferers will have access to DHE without many of the unpleasant side effects associated with current treatment.  Map has also developed a new style inhaler device called the Tempo inhaler designed to deliver medicine more effectively than current inhaler technology.

New technologies like the Zelrix patch and the Tempo inhaler offer promise to migraine sufferers who cannot tolerate oral medications (pills) or who do not respond to currently prescribed medications.   Most migraine headache Social Security disability cases involve assertions that the claimant’s severe headaches cause numerous unscheduled breaks from work and significant problems with attention and concentration.

Until new and effective treatments become widely available migraine patients will continue to qualify for disability benefits based on debilitating migraine headaches.


  1. A. Winslow says

    Have hypothesis that proposes that migraine starts with the hepatic
    enzyme, tryptophan oxygenase (EC 1. 13. 1 12., L-tryptophan: oxygen oxydoreductase). Can give you a concise, cogent reason behind this viewpoint. Anyone out there interested in reading my document
    and scheme? I’m not headache prone, but a series of unplanned events
    may have revealed migraine’s identity.

    Al Winslow

  2. A. Winslow says

    Sirs, My comment evaporaed. Pl. pardon if you receive a duplicate.

    I am not a migraineur. I have a cogent, well substantiated theory proposing that migraine starts with the hepatic enzyme, tryptophan oxygenase (EC, L-tryptophan: oxygen oxydoreductase) Is anyone out there interested in reading my document? I can send in a PDF, or
    please tell me where I can effectiely post this for serious readers.
    Al Winslow

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