Ditans and Gepants: Headache Specialist Discusses the Game-changing Migraine Medications

March 23, 2021
Sydney Jennings

Associate Editor of Patient Care Online

Headache specialist Peter McAllister, MD, discusses how the new migraine medications differ from existing therapies.

"We have for the first time in a generation really, new targeted specific classes of acute migraine drugs," said Peter McAllister, MD, in a recent interview with Patient Care Online. Dr McAllister is referring to ditans and gepants—new acute oral migraine treatments approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2020 that provide additional options for patients with migraine for whom other medications are ineffective or may put them at risk for side effects.

Gepants (ie, rimegepant, ubrogepant) work to block calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from attaching to its receptor and initiating pain signals. Lasmiditan is a first-in-class 5-HT1F receptor agonist. The gepants, unlike the 3 currently available injectable CGRP receptor antagonists for migraine prevention, are taken in pill form as needed at the onset of a migraine attack. Lasmiditan also is an oral acute treatment.

In the video below, Dr McAllister discusses how these new migraine treatments are changing the game for patients with migraine.

Peter McAllister, MD, is medical director of the New England Institute for Neurology and Headache and chief medical officer of the Chief Medical Officer, New England Institute for Clinical Research, both located in Stamford, CT.