Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cambia - New Migraine Medication is Approved

Cambia was approved June 17, 2009 by the FDA for use in the United States for the treatment of Migraine. It does not prevent nor lessen the number of attacks, but is designed to treat one already in progress. Cambia comes as a flavored powder to be mixed with water to form a solution which is drunk by the patient, preferably on an empty stomach. reports that, "In randomized clinical trials, Cambia was shown to be effective not only in migraine pain, but also in treating photophobia (sensitivity to light), phonophobia (sensitivity to sound), and nausea commonly associated with migraine attacks. It was also shown to provide statistically significant onset of relief of migraine pain within 15 to 30 minutes." This is statistically much faster than the vast majority of oral Migraine medications on the market today.

Cambia is another hybrid medication. Hybrid medications like Cambia combine 2 or more previously known and used medicines. When used together, they combine and work synergistically together to create a formulation that is more powerful than the sum of either ingredient when taken separately.

The main ingredient - diclofenac sodium - has previously been known as Cataflam and Voltaren. It is an NSAID and carries all the normal warnings and contraindications of this class of drugs, but its safety profile was better than Triptans. In this case, diclofenac was blended with a unique buffering agent - potassium bicarbonate (usually used in higher doses to treat low potassium levels) which acts as the 'engine' that boosts the effects of diclofenac. Normally NSAIDs are taken with food to help prevent the gastric upset that is so common with this type of drug, but in this case the unique buffer makes it preferable to take without food, making the preparation an advantage for Migraineurs who suffer vomiting and nausea as a part of their attacks.

Unfortunately, Cambia comes flavored using aspartame and saccharine which may be a problem for some patients. As an oral preparation, patients with gastric stasis may still not be able to absorb Cambia well, although there is no research on this to date. Diclofenac has also been found rarely to cause drug-induced Lupus, and is contraindicated for patients suffering SLE, Lupus autoimmune disease. Other contraindications for the use of diclofenac include asthma or frequent runny nose or nasal polyps, porphyria, liver or kidney disease or swelling of hands or lower legs. Diclofenac can also cause bleeding or bruising problems.

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News

No comments: