Obesity is spreading like an epidemic across the world. Billions of dollars are being spent on weight loss supplements (like Alpilean, Ikaria Lean Belly Juice, etc). This article presents an important finding about migraine medication and weight loss. Recent research suggests that triptans may help reduce body weight. The study has appeared in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
For those who don’t know, Triptans are a class of drugs commonly prescribed for the treatment of migraines and cluster headaches. These medications work by targeting specific serotonin receptors in the brain, which helps to constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation that often leads to intense headache pain. They offer significant relief for many migraine sufferers and can alleviate associated symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Triptans have proven to be a valuable tool in managing the debilitating effects of migraines, allowing individuals to regain control of their lives and find relief from these severe headaches.
In the 1960s researchers identified the central serotonin system (5-HT) as a potential target for obesity drugs. Accordingly, drugs were invented that targeted 5-HT2c receptors (Htr2c). The best examples are fen-phen and lorcaserin (Belviq)-both have been withdrawn due to serious side effects.
The new study targeted the serotonin 1B receptor (Htr 1b) in mice and administered six prescriptions of triptans to mice after an 18-hour fast. Then the research team measured their post-fast food intake.
The researchers found that in four out of six, triptans suppressed fasting-induced hunger and that frovatriptan produced the strongest effect. More specifically, they found that daily administration of frovatriptan helped in reducing body weight by an average of 3.58% in 24 days.
How do triptans work? Triptans bind and activate the serotonin 1B receptors which are found in a small group of neurons in the hypothalamus that promotes food intake. Activation of serotonin 1B receptors in these cells prevents their functioning and suppresses hunger.
Since this study of migraine medication and weight loss was conducted in mice, it remains to be seen whether this result will hold in humans too. Studies are also warranted to assess whether long-time triptans use provides long-term effects or short-term appetite suppression. Moreover, we also need to know the long-term safety of daily triptans uses.
If future research in the above directions can give us promising results, then triptans will offer a new therapy for obese people.