Nasal spray for migraines under development

Scientists from Nevada's Roseman University of Health Sciences presented their work on a nasal spray formulation of the antipsychotic prochlorperazine for the treatment of migraines at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists annual meeting in San Diego.

Venkata Yellepeddi--Courtesy of Roseman University of Health Sciences

"Prochlorperazine is a dopamine receptor antagonist that is widely used as an antinausea medication," said Venkata Yellepeddi, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Roseman University, in a statement. "Comparative clinical studies have shown that prochlorperazine provides better pain relief than other antimigraine drugs such as sumatriptan, metoclopramide and ketorolac. Currently, there are no marketed nasal spray formulations of prochlorperazine available for the treatment of migraine. Prochlorperazine is only available in tablet form, which has delayed onset of action."

According to the FDA and the National Institutes of Health's medicine library, the generic drug prochlorperazine maleate is available in tablet form from Sandoz, the generics unit of Novartis ($NVS), and Teva ($TEVA) for the treatment of severe nausea and vomiting, schizophrenia and the short-term treatment of generalized nonpsychotic anxiety.

The Roseman University team hypothesizes that the reformulation will be effective, fast-acting and improve patient adherence, according to the release. It also avoids side effects associated with the use of preservatives.

Using high-performance liquid chromatography and microbiological assays, Yellepeddi showed that the nasal spray remained stable for up to 120 days, according to the release. Next, he will test the safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetics of the spray in rats. His research is being funded by a grant from the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists Foundation.

While Yellepeddi's research is still in the early stages, in June, Avanir Pharmaceuticals ($AVNR) touted positive results from a Phase III trial of its AVP-825 sumatriptan intranasal powder for migraines as compared with an oral formulation of the same treatment.

- read the release

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