The New Drug For Migraine Aimovig

It's true! The new drug for migraine Aimovig is finally here. The very first GCRP medication designed to prevent migraines. It’s been years in the making with very positive results in the studies. But there’s one more thing to be aware of, and I had to find this bit out from my own personal experience. It's called the post marketing data.

But before we get to that, here are some details to help you consider if this new and very expensive treatment is for you.


You can read about how CGRP drugs actually work here - CGRP Drugs for Migraine

My first tip is to discuss with your doctor how this medication compares to what you have already tried. You might need to jump through some hoops – meaning you will have to have a failed list of other medications before you can trial this one.

You might need to see a Neurologist or specialist, and you'll have to fit the criteria.

Now... let's look at the dosage and some pros and cons of this new drug for migraine Aimovig.

The first CGRP medication to prevent migraines has been approved by the FDA. This new drug for migraine is called Aimovig. @migrainesavvyAimovig for Migraine Photo: Amgen

Aimovig Dosage

  • Monthly
  • 70 mgs
  • Via injection pen called an "auto injector" 

You might need 2 injections and not just one... as prescribed by your doctor. [1]

Both prefilled autoinjector and prefilled syringe are single-dose and deliver the entire contents. [3]

The Pros and Cons of This New Drug for Migraine Aimovig

Pros

Minimal side effects reported (so far).

Very positive results in the clinical trials and studies. 40% of participants got a 50% reduction (or better).

It’s helpful for episodic and chronic migraine.

No warnings or contraindications. [3]

Good absorption. It has absolute bioavailability: 82% [3]

Cons

Adverse effects from 1 - 10%: [3]

  • Injection site pain (5-6%)
  • Constipation (1-3%)
  • Cramps, muscle spasms (<1 to 3%)

Unknown risks during pregnancy.

The price tag! Currently $575 per injection = $6,900 per year. 

If you’re sensitive to medications, or have a reaction – it could take time to recover. It stays in your body for a month - half-life: 28 days[3]

"The needle shield within the white cap of the prefilled autoinjector and gray needle cap of the prefilled syringe contain dry natural rubber (a derivative of latex), which may cause allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to latex." [3]

This new drug is not a cure-all but it might help if you can't take a triptan or other migraine meds.

"Elizabeth Loder, a neurologist at Harvard, pointed out in a tweet that a condition of the FDA approving Aimovig was that the company has to study whether people who take the drug are more at risk for liver toxicity, heart attacks, and stroke." [2]

So there's still more data to be gathered for this new drug. 

In three studies both the individuals receiving the drug and the placebo had reductions in migraine days. BUT, and this is significant: "40 percent of the migraine patients in the trials got a huge reduction in migraine days—50 percent or better. If you’re one of those people, great! And if you’re one of the 24 percent who had the same reduction in the placebo group, hey, I’m happy for you too." [2]

This new drug for migraine Aimovig may not prevent all your attacks. But if they reduce your attacks by half or a third… this will still be a significant improvement.

It’s just the price tag you may have to justify.

A Warning About The Post Marketing Data

I found out about this the hard way last November after being hospitalized from a life threatening reaction to the shingles medication Famciclovir (Famvir). 

Here’s what the post marketing data shows for Famvir (2018) that applied to my diagnosis of ITP - Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia, under blood and lymphatic system disorders. 

This is the data gathered AFTER the clinical trials and AFTER the FDA approval and AFTER it’s released to the marketplace.

It’s what happens after… in the general population of millions that take the drug! For me, this was a huge shock and even once my doctor and I discovered the cause, there was no way for me to submit documentation to those authorities in order to update the postmarketing data adding me as another rare statistic. 

This is something to be aware of. They need to add it in for legal reasons, but you need absolute proof your reaction was from that drug

So with this in my recent experience pool of wisdom, I’d wait another year to see what happens with this new drug for migraine Aimovig before experimenting.

If you're already taking it and you want to add some pros and cons, contact me here and I'll add them.

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New Drug For Migraine Aimovig Sources:
1. Cottrill, J. (2018) Big News: First CGRP Inhibitor for migraine Approved in US – Aimovig. Available [online] at: http://headacheandmigrainenews.com/big-news-first-cgrp-inhibitor-approved-in-us-aimovig/
2. Skwarecki, B. (2018) The New Drug for Migraines Has Some Drawbacks. Available [online] at: https://vitals.lifehacker.com/the-new-drug-for-migraines-has-some-drawbacks-1826201295?IR=T

3. Medscape (2018) Erenumab (Rx) Adverse Effects. Available [online] at: https://reference.medscape.com/drug/aimovig-erenumab-1000205#4




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