- When all other treatments for
migraine have failed, patients may find relief with a new drug called
- Erenumab is a monoclonal antibody,
which blocks pain signals by targeting a receptor for a peptide that
transmits migraine pain signals.
- In a third of the patients,
erenumab reduced the average number of monthly migraine headaches by more
While there are treatment options for
migraine, they often fail to work for patients. However, a new drug called
erenumab may provide relief for patients for whom all other treatment options
have failed, according to the preliminary study results presented at the
American Academy of Neurology's 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.
Migraine and Erenumab
Migraine is a common
neurological disorder that is often difficult to treat. It can cause severe
throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, on one or both sides of the head. A
migraine may also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity
to light and sound. It can last for a few hours to a few days and severely
affects the quality of life.
The drug tested in this study,
Erenumab, is a monoclonal antibody that blocks pain signals by targeting a
receptor for a peptide that transmits migraine
signals called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Erenumab binds to this
receptor which CGRP would normally bind to and thereby blocks pain signals.
The study included 246 people
who had episodic migraine. The participants were given injections of either 140
milligrams of erenumab or a placebo
once a month for a three month period. Thirty nine percent of the study population had
been treated unsuccessfully with two other medications, thirty eight percent with three medications and twenty three percent with four medications. The
participants on average, experienced nine migraine headaches a month.
‘Erenumab reduced the average number of monthly migraine headaches by more than 50 percent.’
"The people we included in our study
were considered more difficult to treat, meaning that up to four other
preventative treatments hadn't worked for them," said study author Uwe
Reuter, MD, of The Charité - University Medicine Berlin in Germany. "Our
study found that erenumab reduced the average number of monthly migraine
headaches by more than 50 percent for nearly a third of study participants.
That reduction in migraine headache frequency can greatly improve a person's
quality of life."
- After the three
month treatment period, patients treated with erenumab were three times
more likely to have reduced their migraine days by 50% or more than those
treated with placebo.
percent of the people treated
with erenumab had half the number of headaches compared to 14% of
patients treated with placebo.
- Patients treated
with erenumab had a greater average reduction in the number of days they
had headaches and the number of days they needed to take drugs to stop the
- The safety and
tolerability of erenumab were similar to placebo and
none of the participants taking erenumab stopped treatment due to side
"Our results show that people who
thought their migraines were difficult to prevent may actually have hope of
finding pain relief," said Reuter. "More research is now needed to
understand who is most likely to benefit from this new treatment."