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FDA Approves New Migraine Drug: What You Need to Know

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug that could make your migraine headaches a bit easier to handle.

The drug, called Aimovig, is used to treat migraines in adults by reducing the amount of time the migraine symptoms last. In a statement, the FDA said three clinical trials were performed on Aimovig’s effectiveness. The first found the drug reduced migraine symptoms by one to two days compared to the placebo. The second found one fewer migraine day, and the third reported 2.5 fewer migraine days.

Migraine headaches affect 10% of the world’s population, though they’re three times more common in women than in men, the FDA said in its statement on Thursday. Migraines are typically characterized by extreme pulsing and throbbing in one area of the head and can also include nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. The headaches can last for days.

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Aimovig won’t eliminate migraine headaches in those who use the drug, but should reduce the duration of migraine symptoms. In order to get that effect, however, patients need to inject Aimovig into their bodies once a month. The drug then blocks the activity of a molecule that plays a role in migraines. Some patients in clinical trials reported reactions to the migraine shot at their injection sites. Some also had constipation.

The FDA didn’t say when the new migraine drug would go on sale, but The New York Times reported on Thursday that the shot, manufactured by Novartis and Amgen, would be available within a week.