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What does Aimovig do to the body?

What does Aimovig do to the body?

Migraines are a type of severe headache characterized by recurring attacks of pulsating and throbbing pain on one side of your head. When a migraine is triggered, it is thought to cause brain chemicals such as serotonin to narrow blood vessels, which affects the flow of blood through your brain. People who suffer from migraines can go through 4 four phases: prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome. Not everyone who has migraines goes through all phases.

Migraine treatment is aimed at relieving your symptoms and preventing attacks from occurring again. Some non-pharmaceutical remedies that may help include sleeping or laying down with your eyes closed in a cool, quiet, and dark room. You can also try placing an ice pack or cold, damp cloth on your forehead. You should drink plenty of fluids if you are vomiting along with your migraine.

Most people with migraines will need medication to help stop or prevent a migraine attack. Aimovig is a treatment option manufactured by Amgen and Novartis. It is used as a preventive treatment to help reduce your number of monthly migraine days. It is a monoclonal antibody that blocks a substance in your body that is thought to cause migraines.

Keep reading for details on what Aimovig does to help with migraine prevention, its side effects, and other important information.

What is Aimovig?

Aimovig (erenumab-aooe) is a once-monthly injection approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent episodic migraine and chronic migraine headaches. It is typically used if other migraine medications don’t work or you cannot take them because of side effects or drug interactions.

Your healthcare professional should show you how to use your Aimovig autoinjector before you give your first dose.

How does Aimovig work?

Aimovig is an injection that contains the active ingredient, erenumab-aooe. It is a monoclonal antibody that belongs to a class of drugs called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonists.

The activation of CGRP receptors is believed to contribute to migraines and levels of CGRP have been shown to increase during a migraine attack. Aimovig works by blocking CGRP proteins in your brain and nervous system. This helps stop inflammation and the widening of blood vessels (vasodilation) in your brain associated with migraine symptoms.

What is the usual dose of Aimovig?

Aimovig comes as prefilled syringes and prefilled autoinjector pens and is for subcutaneous (under the skin) use only. The recommended dosage of Aimovig is 70 mg injected subcutaneously in your upper arm, thigh, or stomach once a month.

Some people may need their dose increased to 140 mg once a month. Each 140 mg dose of Aimovig is given either as 1 subcutaneous injection of 140 mg or 2 subcutaneous injections of 70 mg.

What are the side effects of Aimovig?

The most common side effects reported in clinical trials when compared to placebo include:

  • Injection site reactions: You may have pain, swelling, and redness, at your injection site. These are typically mild and will resolve within a few days after your injection. To minimize this reaction, you should remove Aimovig from the refrigerator and let it reach room temperature for at least 30 minutes before you use it.

  • Mild constipation: Aimovig may cause you to have fewer than 3 bowel movements per week. Drinking plenty of water and consuming high-fiber foods can help prevent constipation.

  • Muscle spasms: This medication may cause muscle spasms or tightening that you can’t control. They are typically mild and go away on their own.

Rarely, Aimovig can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions: Although allergic reactions were not reported in clinical studies, they may still occur with the use of Aimovig. Stop taking Aimovig and seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms such as hives, itching, swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat, and trouble breathing. You should not take Aimovig if you have a known allergy or hypersensitivity to erenumab-aooe or any of the inactive ingredients in this product.

  • Constipation with serious complications: If you experience severe constipation that worsens or does not go away, contact your healthcare provider. In some cases, hospitalization or surgery may be needed.

  • High blood pressure: Aimovig may cause an increase in your blood pressure or worsening of your hypertension. If you notice a significant increase in your blood pressure, contact your healthcare provider.

These are not all of the possible side effects of Aimovig. You should always seek medical advice from your healthcare provider for any questions or concerns about your medical condition or treatment. Read all prescribing information, medication guides, or drug information sheets that come with this medication. You can also report adverse effects to the FDA at or 1-800-FDA-1088.

What are some precautions with Aimovig?

Before starting Aimovig, inform your healthcare provider about any medical conditions you have, including allergies to rubber or latex or if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding. There is not enough information to know if the use of Aimovig is safe during pregnancy. However, animal studies did not show adverse effects when used during pregnancy. It is also not known if Aimovig is found in breast milk or the effects it may have on your breastfed infant. You should discuss whether or not this medication is safe for you to take while pregnant or breastfeeding with your healthcare provider.

Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you take as they could cause drug interactions. This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

How effective is Aimovig?

In a 6-month study of people with episodic migraine (4 to 14 migraine days per month), those taking Aimovig had an average of 3 to 4 fewer migraine days per month compared to around 2 fewer migraine days for those taking a placebo. Up to half of the people with episodic migraine taking Aimovig reduced their monthly migraine days by 50% or more. This was compared to about 27% for those taking a placebo.

In a 3-month study of people with chronic migraine (15 or more headache days per month), people taking Aimovig had about 7 fewer migraine days per month compared to 4 fewer migraine days with those taking a placebo. Also, 40% of people with chronic migraine taking Aimovig reduced their monthly migraine days by 50% or more. This was compared to around 24% for those taking a placebo.

Is Aimovig safe long term?

While Aimovig can rarely cause some serious complications, it is relatively safe and effective. One study concluded that the use of Aimovig was associated with reductions in migraine days and improvements in health-related quality of life that were maintained for at least 5 years. There were no new safety concerns over this period.

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