Almost a lab rat

Last updated: October 2020

Recently I noticed a post on our Facebook page that said, “3-8 migraines per month? Consider this study.” Always interested in migraine research, I clicked on the link and decided to apply for the study. Two days later I received a phone call from a representative of the study. He asked me a series of questions about my current symptoms, medications, and health history. After about 10 minutes he informed me that I met the inclusion criteria and invited me to participate.

So rarely are any migraine studies located in the Midwest. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I would only need to travel a few miles to the study location. My first appointment was scheduled for just one week later. After the call ended, I took another look at the post and noticed it was called SAMURAI. That name sounded familiar. I was sure I had read something about it very recently. That’s when it hit me. It was one of the studies I reported on in 2015 Review of Migraine Research.

SAMURAI is a Phase 3 clinical trial for Lasmidtian, the first triptan without vasoconstriction. If/when approved, it will open the door for a new abortive for patients who cannot take any of the current triptans due to the side effects of vasoconstriction. This side effect is simply a minor inconvenience for me, but for thousands of other patients, it prevents them from utilizing effective abortives. Instead they must rely on NSAIDs, ergotamines, or even opioids – none of which offer the kind of relief found with triptans.

As the appointment day approach, my excitement grew. Helping to advance migraine research in such a direct way felt like a grand adventure. I was shown into an exam room and given a stack of forms to complete which was followed by an extensive patient’s rights document.  I was then asked more questions about my health history, including a MIDAS survey and mental health history. That’s when the appointment stopped abruptly and I was informed that I did not meet study criteria. Many of you are familiar with my struggle against depression and suicidal ideation. I was honest about my history. Although not currently depressed, my history made me ineligible for the study.

Rats. Oh well, at least I tried. :-)

I’m still excited about this study and look forward to covering the results of this and future Lasmidtian studies (yes, there will be more!). Maybe one day soon I can break the news that it finally has FDA approval. I remember the days before Imitrex and can’t imagine being forced to cope with migraine attacks without the help of triptans. My heart goes out to each of you who face down migraine without them. Hopefully soon, you will all have another option.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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