For the first time in 50 years we have a new migraine treatment designed specifically to prevent migraine attacks. New information about CGRP has provided a new way to approach migraines. Anti-CGRP medications are a new class of migraine treatment approved by the FDA to prevent migraine headaches.
Calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP, is a protein that transmits pain signals through the trigeminal nerve in the brain and into the brain stem. The trigeminal nerve is a cranial nerve that’s responsible for sensation in the face.
The CGRP protein can cause inflammation and the pain associated with a migraine attack.
Researchers concluded that blocking calcitonin gene-related peptide and the CGRP receptor could help prevent migraine headaches.Anti-CGRP medications are a new type of migraine treatment. They're the first drugs designed to prevent migraine headaches in more than 50 years. Click To Tweet
Preventing migraine with anti-CGRP
The three approved treatments approved in 2018 include erenumab (Aimovig™), fremanezumab, (AJOVY™), and galcanezumab (Emgality™). Erenumab blocks CGRP receptors, while the other treatments block the CGRP protein.
Clinical trials found that half of the patients who took one of these treatments experienced a 50% decrease in days lived with migraine headaches. Patients taking anti-CGRP treatments experienced four to six fewer headache days per month on average. Some patients experienced a 75% decrease in headache days, and some went into remission. The trials found that patients experienced partial response within two months and their results improved over time.
These drugs can be used to treat both Episode (less than 15 headache days per month) or Chronic (more than 15 days per month) Migraine. These drugs are self-injected under the skin once a month.
You must fail 2 different oral preventative medications before qualifying for use in Episodic Migraine. You must fail Botox to qualify for use in Chronic Migraine.
Talk to your doctor if you experience migraine headaches and are interested in anti-CGRP treatments.