What is erenumab (Aimovig)? How does it work (mechanism of action)?

Erenumab (Aimovig) is a new medication used for preventing migraine attacks. It received the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval on May 17, 2018. It belongs to a new class of drugs called calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRP-R) antagonist. CGRP-R is a chemical produced by the body that acts on blood vessels in the brain which are believed to be responsible for the development of migraines. Erenumab reduces the number of monthly migraine attacks by blocking CGRP-R receptors on blood vessels.

Erenumab is not available as a generic drug, but it is the first drug approved in this new class of drugs that may prevent migraine headaches (attacks).

What are the uses for erenumab?

Erenumab is used for preventing migraine headache attacks in adults. It does not have any contraindications.

What are the side effects of erenumab?

The most common side effect of erenumab are reactions to the injection site, for example, injection site:

Less common side effects include:

The needle shield within the white cap of the erenumab prefilled autoinjector and gray needle cap of the erenumab prefilled syringe contains dry natural rubber, which may cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to latex.

There are no warnings for erenumab.

Quick GuideMigraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment

Migraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment

What are the dosing instructions for erenumab?

Erenumab is injected under the skin once a month by the patient or a caregiver. Erenumab is injected under the skin in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. It should not be injected where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard.

  1. The recommended dosage of erenumab is 70 mg once monthly.
  2. Some patients may benefit from a higher dosage of 140 mg once monthly.
  3. The 140 mg dose is given as two 70 mg injections.

A missed dose of erenumab should be administered as soon as possible then treatment should be administered monthly from the date of the last dose.

Erenumab is available as 70 mg/mL in a single-dose prefilled SureClick®autoinjector Injection or a single-dose prefilled syringe.

Which drugs or supplements interact with erenumab?

Drugs or supplements that may interact with erenumab have not been identified. Erenumab does not affect the breakdown of other drugs. Erenumab did not interact with sumatriptan (‎Imitrex, Imigran,Treximet) or an oral contraceptive in laboratory studies.

Is erenumab safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

  • The use of erenumab during pregnancy has not been properly studied. It is not known whether erenumab can affect the developing baby or the birthing process.
  • There is no information about whether erenumab is present in human milk, its effects on the breastfed infant, or its effects on milk production.

Summary

Erenumab, brand name Aimovig, is newly FDA approved injectable drug used for the prevention of migraine headache attacks. Erenumab belongs to a new class of drugs called calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRP-R) antagonist. Erenumab has few side effects, and may include constipation, or pain, redness, and itching at the injection site. Erenumab has no known drug or supplement interactions. Erenumab is available in doses of 70mg and 140 mgs injections that are given once a month by the patient or caregiver. There are no reliable studies on erenumab about its safety during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Erenumab was approved by the FDA on May 17, 2018.

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Medically Reviewed on 5/21/2018
References
REFERENCES:

erenumab (Rx). Medscape.
<https://reference.medscape.com/drug/aimovig-erenumab-1000205#4>

FDA.

Novartis.

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