CGRP for Migraine
About Anti CGRP Treatments
CGRP stands for calcitonin gene-related peptide, and is a protein that transmits pain signals along the trigeminal nerve into the brain stem and, ultimately, up through the brain itself. Researchers and doctors believe that CGRP is “important in generating and maintaining the headache associated with migraine,” said Dr. Dodick. Erenumab (Aimovig) works by targeting CGRP’s receptor, while fremanezumab (Ajovy) and galcanezumab (Emgality) targets the CGRP molecule itself.
Anti-CGRP treatments consist of monoclonal antibodies, which are not drugs, but instead are antibody proteins engineered to target and neutralize other proteins or their receptors. These monoclonal antibodies do get into the brain to any significant degree, and are not metabolized by the liver. That means organ toxicity and interactions with other drugs should be minimal, and thus far, the side effect profile overall appears very favorable.
The new treatments were tested on a wide variety of migraine patients, meaning that they could help those living with either episodic or chronic migraine, and those who have tried other migraine treatments and have a high level of disability. Patients using topiramate (Topamax), onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) and taking acute medication more than 10 days a month also responded well to the treatment.