Migraine prevention is an important challenge for society as a whole, as it is one of the most common crippling diseases today. In this sense, Ajovy (whose active ingredient is fremanezumab) is a new drug that can be a very useful tool for both migraine prevention and treatment.
Migraine is not just a simple headache: it is a neurological disease. There are already more than 50 million patients in Europe alone who are suffering the consequences of this unpredictable disorder. Migraine is a disease that significantly impairs a patient’s abilities both physically and mentally. Migraine is normally found in people aged 25-55 and its illness has a major impact on a patient’s quality of life. In addition, migraine tends to be more prevalent in women and a specific genetic component has been found for its onset.
Migraine has been identified as a crippling disease. It is true that there has been an increasing emphasis in medicine on its prevention in order to control symptoms and reduce its crippling effect, but in many cases, appropriate treatment fails to diagnose or implement.
New therapeutic options, such as Ajovy, are essential tools to advance the treatment of this disease. Both the prevention of migraine and the treatment of its symptoms are important factors in reducing the burden of the disorder in migraine patients.
This new drug has been studied in patients with crippling migraines. The results show that Ajovyn has been shown to reduce the number of days a migraine strikes a patient by up to half a month. In addition, other studies support the fact that the effect of Avojy can be used specifically as a measure to prevent the symptoms of migraine.
Another drug that has been used to date to prevent migraines is propanolol. This medicine is marketed as Sumial and is a relaxing medicine that can also be prescribed to treat anxiety.
What is Avojy and how does it work?
Ajovy is a commercial trademark of the humanized monoclonal antibody fremanezumab. It is a solution for injection that is used to prevent migraines in adults who suffer from at least four migraine days a month. Avojy is a widely recognized and approved drug for the safe prevention of migraines in both the United States and Europe.
As already mentioned above, fremanezumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody. It works by binding to a calcitonin gene-associated peptide (CGRP), thereby preventing the peptide from attaching to CGRP receptors. Therefore, fremanezumab is also said to be anti-CGRP. CGRP is one of the most common neuropeptides present in both central and peripheral nerve cells in the body. CGRP is a potent vasodilator and also affects the transmission of pain around the body.
It has been shown that CGRP levels increase in a migraine attack. When this neuropeptide is released into the nerves and binds to its receptor, it releases inflammatory mediators into the body while also greatly dilating blood vessels.
Thus, by binding CGRP, fremanezumab helps to prevent the activation of nerve fibers in the trigeminal system, which in turn are responsible for activating pain in the body. However, the exact factors that prevent fremanetsumab in migraine attacks are not yet well known.
Posology and method of administration for the prevention of migraine
Ajovy is available in an easy-to-use and pre-filled pen that is given to the patient under the skin using a syringe. Each pre-filled injection contains 225 milligrams of antibody. It can be given to the patient either monthly or once every three months:
- If the dose is taken monthly, one subcutaneous injection will suffice.
- If the dose is taken once every three months, the patient will be given three syringes at the same time. The dose is then a total of 675 milligrams, so the patient only needs to repeat the dose three months later.
This route of administration is of great benefit to the patient in particular, as it significantly increases the flexibility of the treatment. If the once-monthly injection is chosen, only four treatments per year will be sufficient to cover the dosage defined for the prevention of migraine.
The side effects seen with Avojy were usually mild. However, skin reactions have been observed around the injection site, the most common of which were:
As this is a new medicine, research into its safety and long-term effectiveness needs to be continued. However, if the patient notices other adverse reactions, then the patient is advised to contact a specialist.
For migraines, not all patients benefit from the same treatments. This is also because the disease picture of each migraine is not the same. There are several medicines for the prevention of migraines, and their use and dosage must be adjusted by the specialist to each patient according to his or her own individual needs and diagnosis.