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How does Ajovy work for migraines?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Oct 29, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Ajovy (fremanezumab-vfrm) is in the class of medicines known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitors. Ajovy works by binding to the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) ligand to prevent it from binding to its receptor. This can help prevent migraine headache pain.

Ajovy is a monoclonal antibody and is used to help prevent migraine headache attacks in adults 18 years of age and older. It is not used to treat an ongoing migraine headache.

  • People who experience migraine headaches have elevated levels of calcitonin geneā€related peptide (CGRP), a neuropeptide found in the nervous system.
  • When CGRP binds to its receptor, it contributes to the inflammation and pain associated with a migraine.
  • Ajovy targets the CGRP ligand so it cannot bind to the receptor to help prevent a migraine headache attack.

In general, Ajovy can help to reduce the number of migraine headache days you experience by about 1.5 to 2 days per month, but your results may vary. Most patients who have a response usually respond within a month of starting treatment, and some respond within one week. Talk with your doctor about the results you might expect.

Are there other CGRP inhibitors?

Yes. In addition to Ajovy approved in Sept. 2018 and from Teva Pharmaceuticals, the FDA has approved several other calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitors for migraine prevention, which include:

  • Aimovig (erenumab-aooe) from Amgen, approved May 2018
  • Emgality (galcanezumab-gnlm) from Eli Lilly, approved Sept. 2018
  • Vyepti (eptinezumab-jjmr) from Lundbeck, approved Feb 2020

Emgality and Vyepti work like Ajovy and bind to the CGRP ligand to prevent its binding to the receptor. Aimovig works a slightly different way: it binds to the CGRP receptor (not the ligand) to block CGRP activation, thereby preventing migraine pain.

Emgality is also approved to treat cluster headache episodes in adults.

How do I use Ajovy?

Ajovy is available as an autoinjector pen or as a single-dose pre-filled syringe. You (or a caregiver) can learn to inject this medicine at home for added convenience. Most patients prefer autoinjectors over syringes due to ease of use.

  • Ajovy is injected subcutaneously (under the skin) by injection. You will give the injection in the abdomen (stomach area), thigh, or upper arm.
  • Ajovy is given either once a month or once every 3 months (quarterly). Your doctor can determine the best dose of Ajovy to help prevent your migraine headache.
  • Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will show you how to inject and store the medicine.

See also:

Ajovy dosage information (in more detail)

Bottom Line

  • Ajovy works by binding to the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) ligand to prevent it from binding to its receptor. This can help prevent migraine headache pain. It is not used to treat an ongoing migraine headache.
  • Ajovy is a monoclonal antibody in a class of medicines known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitors.
  • It is given as a monthly or quarterly subcutaneous (under the skin) injection, and you can learn to give it yourself for home use.

This is not all the information you need to know about Ajovy (fremanezumab-vfrm) for safe and effective use. Review the full Ajovy product information here, and discuss this information with your doctor or other health care provider.

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