I'm new to the forums, and what brought me here today was to share my experience with a chemotherapy drug, Erivedge, in an effort to get the word out that this drug has the potential to help a lot of migraine sufferers, and to that end perhaps people out there can contact the drug maker, Genentech, to spur them to do migraine research on this drug. It's difficult to compress a huge experience into something readable, so here's the Cliff Notes version.
I am a lifelong migraine suffer with all the classic symptoms, and like so many people there's been nothing really to alleviate my migraines. About a year and a half ago I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a non-metastisizing skin cancer, but with one exception in my case: Mine was/is a rare, aggressive form, which included a large tumor that had grown down to bone instead of up to the skin. Instead of a disfiguring surgery my doctor opted for chemotherapy to eliminate the basal cell tumor, so he prescribed Erivedge. The down side of the drug is it produced all the classic side effects of chemotherapy: hair loss, destruction of taste, severe muscle cramps, nausea, malaise, etc., but the up side in addition to reducing the tumor was that from the first week I took Erivedge (a dose once a day in pill form of 150 milligrams) my migraine headaches completely disappeared. For the first time in my life my migraines were all gone! Imagine that! My chemotherapy ran eight months, and during that course not only did I not have migraines but I also did not have a single simple headache.
It's been seven months now since I came off the chemotherapy treatment, and in that time for the first five months I had no headaches. In the two months after that I have had several what I thought were bad headaches/migraines coming on, then, poof, they all disappeared. I have no idea how long this effect may last since it is supposed to take six months for Erivedge to clear a patient's system.
I told my doctor about this situation, and he has informed Genentech on several occasions suggesting they conduct research into the drug for it's potential as a migraine therapy. Don't get me wrong, no one is going to want to go through the chemotherapy hell I went through just to get rid of migraines, but that's what research is all about: To find what is the mechanism by which Erivedge eliminates migraine headaches. Maybe the result of research is a different drug without the side effects, or worst case scenario is treating people with Erivedge but, perhaps, at a dosage level of 40 milligrams with much reduced side effects that are tolerable.
At any rate, my experience is too important not to share with other migraine sufferers, and my ultimate intention and hope is that other sufferers out there will contact Genentech in order to spur them to do more research on Erivedge as a potential migraine relief drug. If you have any questions just ask, I'll be glad to answer what I can. Thanks!