It’s estimated that more than 38 million Americans suffer from migraines. The pain can be so debilitating that it can put a patient down for days.
Now, a new type of medication is giving hope to those who have dealt with the pain for years.
Cherise Irons is counting the days she hasn’t dealt with a crippling migraine.
“The pressure starts in my neck area and it’s just building and building.” Irons said.
The intense pain started ten years ago after a bad car accident, even causing her to black out.
“I blacked out. I woke up and I’m like ‘Where am I?'” Irons said.
“Migraine is a primary headache disorder. It’s a recurring condition, so it’s chronic.” said Teshamae Monteith, MD, the Chief of the Headache Division and Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
For patients like Cherise, very few treatments gave her any relief until now.
“For the first time ever there’s migraine specific treatments for migraine prevention. We’re talking about a way to target migraine based on the pathophysiology.” said Dr. Monteith.
A new class of drugs called CGRP Monoclonal antibodies work by blocking the signaling pathway that causes migraine.
“So, if you’re able to block that either by targeting the protein itself or the receptor, then you can potentially prevent migraine.” said Dr. Monteith.
Cherise takes Fremanezumab under the brand name Ajovy, which is a once a month injection she gives herself.
“The goal is to have less painful migraine attacks, less frequent migraine attacks.” said Dr. Monteith.
Cherise says the new medication has been a game changer. She’s now studying to become a minister and started a walking group at her church. Cherise credits her faith for getting her through.