Shuly Edwards is all too familiar with migraines. She used to get them as often as 20 times a month.
"It's like being hit by a truck," said Edwards. "You feel a throbbing in your head and shooting pain behind your eyes and you physically can't function."
She has three daughters under seven so when the migraines hit, they turned play time into pain.
Edwards tried medications, but they took hours to work and caused severe nausea. She heard about a clinical trial to test out a new migraine medication, Levadex, and decided to give it a try.
The new medicine is administered orally through an inhaler. It was developed by MAP Pharmaceuticals in Mountain View. The company reformulated a drug called DHE 45, which has been around for 60 years.
The drug is traditionally administered intravenously, which was inconvenient for patients.
"It also caused nausea," said Dr. James Wolfe at Allegery and Asthma Associates in San Jose. "The new delivery system allows patients to get relief more quickly and without suffering an upset stomach."
He looked at 40 patients in a double blind study and found that nearly 70 percent of those who took Levadex experienced migraine relief.
Edwards says her debilitating migraine went away in just 30 minutes. She also noticed that when she started using Levadex, she began getting fewer migraines.
"Clinical trials showed Levadex was able to keep the migraines away for 24 hours," said MAP CEO Tim Nelson.
"This is a breakthrough product," said Dr. Wolfe. He also says the drug was well tolerated by patients who suffered from asthma and migraines.
The inhaler didn't irritate asthma patients' lungs. The FDA has not yet approved Levadex as more clinical trials are needed.
If you suffer from migraines and are interested in participating in clinical trials go to the allergycare.com research page.