The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Zavzpret nasal spray for the treatment of migraines in adults who cannot take oral medications. Manufactured by Pfizer, the nasal spray has the active agent zavegepant but is sold under the brand name Zavzpret. The drugmaker said it will be available in pharmacies by July 2023.
Zavzpret is not the first nasal spray on the market for treating migraine, but it is the first to work by blocking CGRP, the protein that contributes to inflammation and is released in the brain. There are also oral drugs that block CGRP, but many people are not able to swallow pills because of the side effects of nausea and other unpleasantness associated with swallowing drugs.
“As a nasal spray with rapid drug absorption, Zavzpret offers an alternative treatment option for people who need pain relief or cannot take oral medications due to nausea or vomiting,” said Dr. Randa Jaafar, a New York-based pain management physician. We currently have other CGRP medications, but they are either administered orally or with an injection, which has limitations.”
Apart from the fact that some people dislike taking pills because of nausea and vomiting associated with it, some people also have a phobia of injections. So a nasal spray may be the only thing left for them to administer themselves without the help of a trained specialist.
According to a study published in the journal The Lancet Neurology, the authors stated that Zavzpret can also be used for patients with heart conditions. This means that patients with heart disease who are not able to take oral medications for migraine can take the Zavzpret nasal spray safely. The study shows that people with migraine get better within two hours of administering the spray.
“Among my migraine patients, one of the most important attributes of an acute treatment option is how quickly it works,” the associate medical director at New England Institute for Neurology & Headache, Dr. Kathleen Mullin, said. “As a nasal spray with rapid drug absorption, Zavzpret offers an alternative treatment option for people who need pain relief or cannot take oral medications due to nausea or vomiting, so they can get back to normal function quickly.”
Many people around the world suffer from migraine, and the throbbing pains associated with the condition can last from hours to days. Migraine is more common in women than men, and some of the discomforts associated with it include sensitivity to light or sounds or other visual disturbances, not to mention vomiting and nausea.