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New study shows popular drug used to treat migraines leads to weight loss

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – According to a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, a common prescription medication used to treat migraines may also lead to weight loss.  

The drug is called frovatriptan. It falls under a class of medications designed to relieve severe headaches and other migraine symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. 

And now, scientists say, it could help you lose a few pounds. 

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern divided mice into six groups and fed them high-fat diets. All groups also took a prescription drug, one of which was frovatriptan. After 24 days, the mice assigned to take frovatriptan lost an average of 3.6% of their body weight compared to the other groups not taking frovatriptan. Those groups gained an average of 5.1% of their body weight. 

Frovatriptan, the researchers say, reduces hunger by regulating a chemical receptor in the brain. 

“We’ve shown that there is real potential to repurpose these drugs, which are already known to be safe for appetite suppression and weight loss,” said study author Dr. Chen Liu in a statement. “This finding could be important for drug development.” 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 40% of people in the United States are obese.