Researchers are hoping a newly developed drug could have the potential to help migraine sufferers.
Telcagepant eases migraine pain but does not cause constriction of the blood vessels, unlike other similar drugs. This means it is safer for patients with cardiovascular disease.
The drug, in the final stages of development, was discussed in a study published online in The Lancet.
The authors hope that an anti-epileptic drug known as topiramate could also be used to prevent migraine attacks in people with chronic migraine. It is currently used as a firstline treatment for migraines in many countries.
Telcagepant represents a new class of anti-migraine drug - the calcitonin-gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor blockers.
This compound exerts its effects by blocking receptors for the calcitonin-gene-related peptide at several sites in the trigeminal nerves and central nervous system, thereby interrupting the metabolic process causing the pain and resulting in pain relief.
The common adverse effects caused by telcagepant include dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and drowsiness.
The authors conclude: "The clinical trials we have reviewed provide evidence that CGRP receptors are important molecular targets for development of anti-migraine drugs."