People suffering from migraines who can’t take pills or injections due to nausea or vomiting will soon have access to pain relief in the form of a nasal spray designed for quick relief of migraine headaches.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pfizer’s nasal spray called Zavzpret – the first calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist- intended to treat acute migraine symptoms in adults.
Zavzpret works by blocking CGRPs, a protein that is released around the brain and triggers migraine, however, does not prevent migraine headaches so quick pain relief is touted as its biggest benefit.
According to the results of two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies which led to FDA approval, the nasal spray begins reducing pain in as quickly as 15 minutes, enabling sufferers to return to their normal activities as quickly as 30 minutes later.
Kathleen Mullin, M.D., associate medical director at the New England Institute for Neurology & Headache in Stamford, Connecticut, pointed out the quick pain relief as one of the most important attributes of an acute treatment option.
Zavzpret is said to eliminate moderate to severe migraine headache pain within two hours, and its effects are lasting for up to 48 hours.
Angela Hwang, president of Pifizer’s global biopharmaceuticals business in New York City, said in a statement that the approval of their nasal spray is a significant breakthrough for migraine sufferers who prefer alternative options to oral medications to gain relief from the pain and get back to their daily lives.
Migraine sufferers are expected to have access to Zavzpret- which underscores Pfizer’s commitment to delivering an additional treatment option to help people with migraine- via a doctor’s prescription starting in July 2023.
The World Health Organization (WHO) includes migraines – a condition that, according to the Jama Network, affects more than 17% of women and 5.6% of men in the US – in its list of the 10 most debilitating medical illnesses.