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Oct 29, 2009 4:19 PM by Marianne Favro

Inhaler provides fast, powerful migraine relief

Shuly Edwards loves hanging out with her daughters.

But frequent debilitating migraines quickly turned play into pain.

"It's like you were hit by a truck. It's like you can't physically do it. You can't get past that pulsating feeling, this heaviness in your head, this throbbing, shooting pain behind your eye," Shuly Edwards, who suffers frequent migraines, said.

She had up to 20 migraines a month, making it extremely difficult for her to watch three kids under seven.

"The pain was just so overwhelming and the nausea was so overwhelming I couldn't function at all," Edwards said.

She got a little relief from medications, but they took hours to work and caused *another* problem.

"I felt nauseous from those medicines," Edwards said.

So she enrolled in a clinical trial to try this new device, it administers migraine medicine through an inhaler.

It's called Levadex, developed here at map pharmaceuticals in mountain view. The company reformulated an old drug that's been around for 60 years and is usually given intravenously so it can now be given in a new way.

Dr. James Wolfe followed patients during one of the clinical trials.

"When the headache went away like it did in two-thirds of the patients, it stayed away and the patient tolerated the drug without significant side effects," Dr. Wolfe said.

For Shuly that meant no nausea.

"We also showed in our studies that we could keep the migraine away for 24 and even 48 hours on the back end. On the front end we showed it could treat the migraine very quickly," Tim Nelson, the CEO MAP Pharmaceuticals, said.

Shuly experienced relief in just 30 minutes -- the FDA has not yet approved Levadex.

More clinical trials are needed. But Dr. Wolfe says it could potentially help the more than 26 million people who suffer migraines.

"This is a breakthrough product," Dr. Wolfe said.

Shuly couldn't agree more. "I can function with my kids and I can play with them and I don't feel like I might have this debilitating thing, I don't feel trapped," she said.

 

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