When will Zavzpret be available in the UK (and what to do in the meantime)?
Last updated: 13 November 2023
For the 10 million people in the UK suffering from migraine, a new fast-acting medicine could be life-changing. That's why Zavzpret's FDA approval in 2023 caused a lot of excitement.
Referred to as the "Epipen of migraine" 2, Zavzpret is a nasal spray for acute migraine treatment, and may offer relief as fast as 15 minutes after use1.
The new migraine spray has been available in US pharmacies since June, 2023. However, if you're a patient in the UK eager to start treatment with Zavzpret, you may need to wait a little longer.
Here's everything you need to know about when Zavzpret will be available in the UK, and how you can access it in the meantime.
What is Zavzpret used for?
Zavzpret (zavegepant) belongs to a class of migraine medicines known as gepants. It's the first third-generation gepant, and the only one administered as a nasal spray.
Gepants such as Zavzpret are CGRP receptor antagonists. When a migraine starts, a substance called CGRP is released, which worsens the migraine. Gepants block CGRP's effects without tightening blood vessels. This may make them a safer choice for individuals with heart conditions, unlike triptans which can constrict blood vessels 4.
Early studies also indicate that gepants may be the first acute migraine medicines without the risk of medication overuse headaches. As such, some gepants could also serve as a preventive treatment. Zavzpret, however, is not indicated as a preventive treatment 5.
Is Zavzpret approved in the UK?
As of November 2023, not yet. In order to get approval in the UK, Zavzpret (zavegepant) needs to be assessed by the MHRA. There is no assessment available at this point.
Will Zavzpret be available on the NHS?
At the moment, it's impossible to say. If Zavzpret receives the MHRA's marketing authorization, it will be reviewed by NICE. NICE determines whether the medicine will be recommended for NHS coverage.
Are other gepants available on the NHS?
Other migraine medicines within the same class are Rimegepant, Atogepant and Ubrogepant. All of them are oral medications. Of these, only Rimegepant is currently available on the NHS, both for preventive and acute treatment 3.
How can you access Zavzpret before its approval in the UK?
If you're a patient in the UK suffering from migraine, it can be challenging to accept waiting for months or years before a novel treatment is available to you.
The good news is, you don't have to wait.
Many countries, including the UK, have regulations that permit patients to buy and import medicines for personal use before they are approved or available locally. You will of course need to consult with your treating doctor first.
Do you need a prescription for Zavzpret?
Yes, Zavzpret is a prescription medicine and is not available over the counter. If you believe that you could benefit from this novel treatment for managing your migraines, you should discuss this with your doctor. They are best equipped to determine if Zavzpret can be a suitable treatment choice for you.
Has your doctor already prescribed Zavzpret? Then Everyone.org can help you access Zavzpret right away. We're specialized in sourcing and delivering medicines unapproved or unavailable in a patient's country. We help thousands of patients every year. We'd be happy to assist you, too. Simply get in touch below to get started.
- Goodman, Brenda. FDA approves new nasal spray to treat migraine headaches in adults, Pfizer says. CNN, 10 March 2023.
- Mandowara, Khushi. US FDA approves Pfizer's nasal spray for migraine. Reuters, 10 March 2023.
- Music, Rob. NICE approves Rimegepant for acute use on the NHS in England. The Migraine Trust, 14 September 2023.
- Gepants. The Migraine Trust, Accessed 13 November 2023.
- Pfizer's ZAVZPRET™ (zavegepant) Migraine Nasal Spray Receives FDA Approval. Pfizer, 10 March 2023.