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What is the mechanism of action of Aimovig?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Aug 19, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com
  • Aimovig (erenumab-aooe) blocks the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor binding site and function. This helps to prevent the development of a migraine headache and associated pain. CGRP may cause blood vessels to dilate and cause inflammation and migraine headache pain.
  • Aimovig is a biologic monoclonal antibody classified as a CGRP inhibitor. CGRP is a protein found in the sensory nerves of the head and neck.
  • Research suggests there may be a connection between CGRP, CGRP receptors, and migraine headaches.

Aimovig, from Amgen and Novartis, was approved in May 2018 and was the first FDA-approved CGRP receptor antagonist. It is given once monthly as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. The suggested dose is 70 mg once monthly; however, some patients may benefit from a higher dose of 140 mg once monthly.

Does Aimovig affect the immune system?

Aimovig is a biologic medication known as a monoclonal antibody, but there is no scientific evidence that Aimovig lowers the immune system function to fight infections.

A monoclonal antibody is a protein developed in the lab that targets a specific substance in the body. Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat many different conditions, including some types of cancer or autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease. Some of these drugs can suppress immune system response and increase the risk for infections, but this has not been seen with Aimovig.

How effective is Aimovig?

Aimovig has been studied for the prevention of episodic and chronic migraine headaches. In studies, episodic migraines were defined as 4 to 14 migraine days per month, while chronic migraine is defined as 15 or more headache days per month, of which at least 8 were migraine days.

In a 6-month study of patients with episodic migraine, patients who received Aimovig had an average of 3 to 4 fewer migraine days compared to about 2 fewer migraine days per month for those taking an inactive placebo.

In a chronic migraine study, researchers found that patients using Aimovig had 6 to 7 fewer days with migraine headaches over a one month period. This compared to 4 fewer migraine days with those taking an inactive placebo.

In addition, many patients taking Aimovig were able to reduce their monthly migraine days by 50% or more, compared to 24% (chronic migraine group) to 27% (episodic migraine group) of those taking the placebo.

Common side effects with Aimovig include injection site reactions (pain, redness, or swelling) and constipation.

Bottom Line

  • Aimovig (erenumab-aooe) is a prescription medicine that blocks the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor binding site and function. This helps to prevent the development of a migraine headache and associated pain.
  • Aimovig is a biologic monoclonal antibody classified as a CGRP inhibitor. CGRP is a protein found in the sensory nerves of the head and neck. Research suggests there may be a connection between CGRP, CGRP receptors, and migraine.
  • Aimovig is given by a subcutaneous (under your skin) injection into your stomach (abdomen) area, upper arm or thigh once a month.

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

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