New medication for chronic migraine

The medicine can be self-injected monthly or quarterly, once patients are trained by healthcare professional

New injection medication for chronic migraine patients, Ajovy (fremanezumab), is currently being reviewed for approval for use in Ireland by the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE).

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Ajovy for the prophylaxis of migraine in adults with chronic migraine, who have not responded to at least three prior preventative treatments.

Ajovy belongs to a class of medications called anti-CGRPs (calcitonin gene-related peptides), which have been specifically designed to target the underlying causes of migraine. The medicine can be self-injected either monthly or quarterly once patients are trained by a healthcare professional.

Current migraine prevention therapies include antiepileptics, antidepressants, beta blockers or OnabotulinumtoxinA injections, however these were not developed specifically to target migraine.

Most migraine sufferers have migraine without aura, common symptoms being an intense throbbing headache, usually on one side of the head, worsened by movement, and lasting from 4-72 hours. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, noises and smells, stiffness of the neck and shoulders and blurred vision.

Research has shown that one in seven people suffer from migraines in Ireland — a condition which impacts as many as 700,000 people overall.

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