First-Ever Medication to Prevent Migraine Approved by FDA

New class of treatments will soon be available for migraine sufferers

This week marks a game-changer for patients suffering from episodic and chronic migraine. FDA has granted the first-ever approval of a migraine preventive medication to Amgen Inc for its novel product, called erenumab (Brand Name: Aimovig). Developed in collaboration with Novartis, the treatment is a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibody—which means the medication works to block pain signals in the brain before a migraine attacks. (In this video, the University of Washington’s Headache Clinic Director Dr. Natalia Murinova explains how this new class of medication works, including a patient example.) 

In clinical trials, patients with a history of episodic or chronic (occurring 15 or more days per month) migraine, who took Aimovig compared to a placebo experienced, on average, between 1 and 2.5 fewer migraine days per month. The most commonly reported side effects were injection site reactions and constipation. Once available in the marketplace, migraine sufferers will be able to take prescribed Aimovig once a month via a self-administered injection to help prevent and/or reduce attacks."

"For years the migraine community has been advocating for new treatment options that are specifically designed to treat migraine, a debilitating and often stigmatized disease. Today we celebrate the tireless work of researchers to better understand the biology of migraine and their ability to bring a new therapeutic approach to the millions of Americans who are seeking fewer migraine days,” said Kevin Lenaburg, Executive Director of the Coalition For Headache And Migraine Patients (CHAMP), which provides support to people with headache, migraine, and cluster diseases. “On behalf of the community, we would also like to thank the thousands of clinical trial patients whose unwavering commitment made this progress possible.”

Similar medications are expected to enter the market soon, with products from biopharmaceutical manufacturers Eli Lilly, Teva, Allergan, and Alder under FDA review.

Read more about migraine symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments in our Headache & Migraine Patient Condition Center.

Updated on: 10/05/18
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