MINNEAPOLIS (CBSLocal) — It is being called a breakthrough for migraine sufferers.
A new FDA approved treatment called Emgality is the third in a class of new drugs that aim to stop the headaches before they begin.
Melissa Safello Boiley got her first migraine at age 7, and ended up in the emergency room.
“If you take a vice clamp, those big, bench loaded vice clamps and put your head in the middle and tighten it up real tight, it’s about what it feels like,” explained Boiley.
Through the years, they’ve gotten worse, she gets about 27 a month, “I’ve put ice packs, or a roller lessens the pain a little bit.”
Her latest experiment was an FDA trial for the self-injectable drug Emgality. It’s a once a month treatment meant to stop migraines before they start.
One of the drug researchers is Minneapolis based headache specialist Dr. Gary Berman, “This is a huge deal, this is the best migraine medicines we’ve had ever.”
Emgality is the third drug in recent months to be approved that binds with a substance of the brain that may cause migraines. There are no major side effects, but there are major results.
“Fifty to sixty percent of parties get fifty percent reduction in migraines each month,” said Dr. Berman. He says those results are “huge.”
And to Melissa, they are monumental. She went from 27 headaches a month to three.
“I tell people who have migraines, ‘Can I just tell you about this medication because it changed my life,” said Boiley.
Melissa says during her time on Emgality, she lost her beloved brother Matthew.
“I can’t tell you the level this means so much to me to be able to support my parents and other siblings through my brother’s homicide and not have to worry about a migraine,” she said.
The drug was just approved for market so Melissa is eagerly awaiting her next dose.
Emgality is delivered via a once-a-month, self-administered, subcutaneous injection.
It costs about $575 a month. The drug company, Lily, is offering some sufferers their first year of doses for free.