Aimovig (erenumab-aooe) is a once-monthly injection that is marketed by Amgen and Novartis. It is an FDA-approved monoclonal antibody used to prevent episodic and chronic migraine headaches. Aimovig belongs to a class of drugs called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonists. It works by blocking a protein that is thought to cause inflammation and vasodilation, which lead to migraine attacks.
Aimovig is for subcutaneous use only. It can be given as an injection under the skin of your upper arm, thigh, or stomach. Your healthcare provider should show you or your caregiver how to use your single-dose Aimovig autoinjector or prefilled syringe before first giving a dose at home. There are also detailed videos and instructions for use available on the drug manufacturer’s website on how to take Aimovig.
Here we will discuss how to use Aimovig as well as other important information you should know about this medication.
Instructions for use for your autoinjector
Step 1: Prepare for your dose
Do not prepare your Aimovig injection until you are ready to give it. Before you inject Aimovig, always check the label of your prefilled autoinjector to ensure you have the right medicine and the correct dose.
Remove the autoinjector from the original carton by lifting it straight up. Leave your autoinjector with the white or orange cap on at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) for at least 30 minutes before giving the injection. Do not warm your autoinjector up using a microwave or hot water and do not leave it in direct sunlight. Once it has reached room temperature, do not put it back in the fridge.
Inspect the Aimovig autoinjector to ensure the medicine in the window is either colorless or slightly yellow. Do not use your autoinjector if:
It is cloudy, discolored, or has particles in it.
Any parts of it are broken or cracked.
You have dropped it.
The cap is missing or loose.
The expiration date on the label has passed.
Gather all the materials you need for your injection, including the autoinjector, cotton balls/gauze pads, alcohol wipes, adhesive bandages, and your sharps disposal container.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Clean the injection site with an alcohol wipe, let the skin dry, and don’t touch the area again before giving the injection. You should avoid injecting Aimovig directly into raised, red, thick, or scaly skin. You should also avoid areas with stretch marks or scars.
Step 2: Get ready to give the injection
Pull off the cap when you are ready to give the injection. You should not leave the cap off for more than 5 minutes.
Use the Stretch method or the Pinch method at the injection site (stomach, thigh, or outer areas of the upper arm).
Stretch method: Stretch the skin by moving your fingers and thumb in opposite directions about 2 inches apart.
Pinch method: Pinch the skin between your fingers and thumb, creating about a 2-inch wide area.
Step 3: Inject the medication
Keep the skin pinched or stretched.
With the cap off, put the yellow safety guard on your skin at a 90-degree angle.
Push the autoinjector down onto the skin firmly until it is secure. Only press the gray start button when the autoinjector is in place and you are ready to give the medication. You should hear a click when the start button is pressed.
Keep pushing the autoinjector onto your skin and lift your thumb. The injection may take around 15 seconds. The window on the autoinjector will turn from clear to yellow when your injection is done and you might hear another click.
If the window is not yellow or the medication looks like it is still injecting after you remove the autoinjector, you may not have administered the full dose. You should call your doctor immediately if this happens.
Step 4: Finish up
Discard your used autoinjector and cap in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container immediately after using it. Do not dispose of your SureClick autoinjector in the household trash. Always keep your medication and sharps disposal container out of the reach of children.
Examine your injection site for blood. Use a gauze pad, cotton ball, or bandaid if needed.
What is the usual dose of Aimovig?
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 include:
Injection site reactions (redness, swelling, pain)
Mild constipation (fewer than 3 bowel movements per week)
Other side effects of Aimovig may include:
Rarely, Aimovig can cause serious side effects, including:
Serious, life-threatening allergic reaction (hives, itching, swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat, and trouble breathing)
Severe constipation with serious complications that may require hospitalization or surgery
High blood pressure (hypertension)
These are not all of the possible side effects of Aimovig. You should always seek medical advice from your healthcare professional for any questions or concerns about your medical condition or treatment. Read the full prescribing information, medication guides, or drug information sheets that come with this medication. You can also report adverse effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch 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 have been no significant drug interactions reported with Aimovig. However, you should still tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you take, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
How do you store Aimovig?
Aimovig must be stored between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) in the refrigerator in its original carton. Once it is taken out of the refrigerator, it can be stored at room temperature up to 77°F (25°C) in its original carton, for up to 7 days.
Is there a video showing how to give an Aimovig injection?
In addition to the drug manufacturer’s website, you can also watch a video on how to give an injection of Aimovig on YouTube.
Can Aimovig be taken at the same time as other medications?
Currently, there are no significant drug interactions with Aimovig that have been reported. You should contact your doctor or pharmacist for medical advice on taking Aimovig with any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.