Major new migraine trial could bring relief to millions of sufferers

Migraine sufferers are being invited to take part in a trial in Sydney and the Gold Coast aimed at preventing these debilitating attacks.

Volunteers will be trialling the effectiveness of new multi-pill blood pressure or cholesterol lowering drugs.

Currently just 20 per cent of people who suffer from migraines take any form of preventative medicine due to widespread side effects of available treatments.

But researchers at The George Institute for Global Health hope these new treatments will not only prove effective at preventing migraines and the frequency, they may also reduce the unwanted side effects.

Dr Cheryl Carcel, Research Fellow at The George Institute, said: “Migraine affects millions of people in Australia who live in fear of developing an attack which not only causes discomfort, it also forces them off work and unable to participate in family life.

“We know that sufferers would love to be able to reduce the amount of attacks they have each month, or of course prevent them altogether. But at the moment many of the pills on the market produce weight gain and fatigue so people avoid them.

“It means they often end up overusing highly potent pain relieving drugs in the midst of an attack, which we would hope to avoid.”

Migraine sufferer Tanya Walker, 50, has just taken part in the trial and revealed the number of her attacks have dropped by about half. “Before the trial I averaged around eight migraines a month which could last anywhere from six to 24 hours. During the trial it dropped to around four or five per month.

“It took away the daily fear I had about developing a migraine.”

Tanya, who has been having migraines since the age of 14, says she hopes the trial will help other migraine sufferers including her own daughter. “If this trial is successful we could be looking at a drug that could help millions of people around the world. It has made a difference to my life.”

The trial will be taking place at RPA Hospital in Camperdown and soon to launch at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney and the Genomics Clinical Trials Centre on the Gold Coast.

Participants must be aged 18-65, have 2-14 migraines a month for at least 12 months, and must have started experiencing migraines before they turned 50. They must also be willing to take medication for 12 weeks and be able to visit RPA every four weeks for 20 weeks.


Migraine Facts

  • Migraine affects 0.8 billion people globally and is the sixth highest cause of disability worldwide
  • Migraine is a leading cause of lost work time in Australia
  • It’s believed at least three million people suffer migraine in Australia.
  • Beta blockers are the most commonly used preventative medicines but produce significant side effects such as fatigue
  • Migraine affects three time as many women as men.

To find out more about the trial phone the toll free number 1800 397 371 or contact Emily Comito at