A new medication recently approved by the FDA for the prevention of migraine headache is offering promising results for patients who suffer from these debilitating headaches. Dr. Abigail Chua, a neurologist and headache specialist at the Hartford HealthCare Headache Center has more on this groundbreaking new therapy.
Q: Tell us about the recent FDA-approved medication for migraine treatment.
A: Aimovig is a migraine treatment in a new class of medications called CGRP monoclonal antibodies. This medication has been FDA-approved for the preventive treatment of migraine, and acts by blocking the activity of calcitonin gene-related peptide, a molecule that is involved in migraine attacks.
Q: Why is this medication unique?
Prior to the development of CGRP-monoclonal antibodies, all of the preventives we were using for migraine were originally developed to treat other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, depression, and epilepsy. While these medications can certainly be effective for a lot of people with migraine, not everyone can tolerate these medications, and some get no relief from them at all. Aimovig is the first medication available on the market that is designed to specifically target a protein that has been shown to be very closely tied to the development of migraine headaches.
Q: What type of patient would benefit most from this medication?
Patients who have migraine and have tried at least 2 other preventive treatments for migraine may be qualified to try this new medication.
Q: What kind of benefit can people expect from this new medication?
Aimovig is a migraine preventive treatment, and the goal of all migraine preventives is to decrease the frequency, severity, or duration of headaches. Depending on how often a person is having headaches, they may see a decrease in their headache frequency anywhere from 2 to 8 days per month, on average. Over the course of 12 months, this can mean 24 to 100 headache-free days per year.