Researchers have recently developed and introduced a novel prochlorperazine nasal spray formulation that may provide major relief to sufferers of migraine headaches. Migraines are characterized by intense pain, and they can last from four to seventy-two hours, often accompanied by nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The Migraine Research Foundation says migraine is among the top twenty of the world’s most disabling medical disorders. In fact, every ten seconds, someone in the United States goes to the emergency room for treatment of migraine headache.
Venkata Yellepeddi, Ph.D., of Roseman University of Health Sciences, leads the team that developed the preservative-free device-driven prochlorperazine nasal spray. The spray is designed to be prepared by compounding pharmacists, specifically in the field of pain management. Dr. Yellepeddi writes:
Prochloperazine is a dopamine receptor antagonist that is widely used as an anti-nausea medication. Comparative clinical studies have shown that prochloperazine provides better pain relief than other anti-migraine drugs such as sumatriptan, metoclopramide, and ketorolac. Currently, there are no marketed nasal spray formulations of prochlorperazine available for the treatment of migraine. Prochlorperazine is only available in tablet form, which has delayed onset of action.
Dr. Yellepeddi and his team believe the new nasal spray will not only be effective, but also fast-acting. They expect it will improve patient compliance. They also emphasize the spray will be prepared without preservatives, avoiding such problems as the muscosal irritation often associated with preservatives such as benzalkonium chloride and potassium sorbate.
The researchers used high performance liquid chromatography and microbiological assays to test the stability of the spray. The studies proved the nasal spray remained stable for up to 120 days with minimal degradation, which makes it a viable treatment option for migraine patients.
The next step in the development of the nasal spray is testing in laboratory rats. The testing will examine the safety and efficacy of the spray, and also the time course of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of the drug.