New antibody treatment provides little relief for high-frequency migraine patients

Migraine
Credit: Sasha Wolff/Wikipedia

An early assessment reveals that a newly approved drug to treat migraines does not seem effective among patients who suffer from high-frequency migraines.

The findings will be presented this week during the 61st annual scientific meeting of the American Headache Society in Philadelphia.

Clinicians at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, conducted a retrospective chart review of 28 patients who were prescribed 70 miligrams of Erenumbab per month for three months beginning in June of 2018. Each of the patients reported 25 or more headache days per month when they began the treatment.

Given the relatively high cost of the new antibody treatment—a list price of $6,900— at OHSU has focused on prescribing it for patients with incapacitating and frequent migraines. They hoped to reduce the number of headaches by at least half through once-monthly self-injections.

None of the high-frequency patients achieved a 50 percent reduction in headache frequency, although six reported a reduction of at least 25 percent.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Erenumbab in May of 2018.

"In a climate where financial constraint cannot be ignored, when possible use of new medications should be tailored as specifically as possible to limit waste of a finite resource," said Juliette Preston, M.D., director of the OHSU center and assistant professor of medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine.


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