Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a protein in the brain and nervous system. Research indicates that CGRP is one of the causes of migraine. Taking CGRP migraine medications that block this protein could manage or treat migraine.
CGRP migraine medications are also known as:
- CGRP antagonist treatments
- CGRP inhibitors
- CGRP-blocking medications
- CGRP medications
CGRP medications block CGRP by attaching to the protein or blocking receptor sites. Blocking CGRP helps prevent inflammation in the membranes covering the brain, which can help manage migraine.
Migraine is a common condition, with some evidence suggesting it affects almost
This article discusses CGRP-blocking migraine treatment. We examine how the medication works for migraine, its benefits and risks, and its effectiveness.
CGRP is a protein that neurons produce in the peripheral and central nervous systems. It plays a role in dilating blood vessels and the transmission of pain.
Researchers have investigated the potential role of CGRP in developing migraine for more than
Research indicates that targeting and blocking the CGRP protein with CGRP-targeted treatments may help relieve migraine pain and prevent migraine attacks.
CGRP monoclonal antibodies
Monoclonal antibodies are molecules scientists produce in a laboratory to serve as substitute antibodies. They can bind to specific targets in the body. For example, CGRP monoclonal antibody medications attach to CGRP or its receptor and prevent migraine from developing.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved three CGRP-targeting monoclonal antibodies in
Research indicates that CGRP monoclonal antibodies are a safe and effective way to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. They also have fewer side effects than other preventive medications for migraine.
Gepants are another form of CGRP-blocking medication that
Each of these medications has different uses. Rimegepant and atogepant are preventive medications, which means a person takes them to stop migraine symptoms before they occur. People may also take rimegepant to ease symptoms once they occur. Ubrogepant is only suitable if a person already has symptoms.
Gepants bind to the CGRP receptor on the trigeminal nerve and prevent the nerves from releasing CGRP and the blood vessel from dilating.
Monoclonal antibody migraine treatments
As these medications have a long duration of action or half-life. A person may only need to complete this injection monthly or quarterly to prevent a migraine attack.
Unlike the other CGRP monoclonal antibodies, a doctor administers Vyepti via intravenous infusion every 3 months.
Gepants are available to take orally in tablet form. Individuals take them at the onset of migraine pain to give immediate relief.
CGRP-blocking drugs are generally
According to a 2018 study, nearly one-third of people taking CGRP-targeting drugs experienced a 50% reduction in migraine episodes compared to a placebo group.
Anti-CGRPs have a similar level of effectiveness to other migraine treatments but typically carry a lower risk of side effects.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, people usually see a benefit from CGRP medications within 1 month. Many people notice a step reduction in migraine days within 1–4 weeks, and this reduction typically stabilizes at around 3 months.
As with all medications, the cost of CGRP-blocking medications can vary. The price will also depend on a person’s insurance coverage and the drugstore they use.
The manufacturers may provide programs or discounts to reduce the price of the medication.
CGRP medications are the first preventive medications explicitly developed for migraine. Before their development, preventive treatments for migraine
According to a
The review notes that in clinical trials, CGRP medications showed a 50% reduction in monthly migraine days.
Most people require monthly doses of CGRP medications or quarterly doses of Ajovy and Vyepti, so they may be less likely to miss a dose. Additionally, people do not need to wait to experience symptoms of migraine before taking the treatment to prevent a migraine attack.
Researchers need to conduct more studies to understand the potential risks of CGRP medications, particularly their long-term effects.
While CGRP plays a role in migraine, research also suggests it can
There is limited safety information on taking CGRP-blocking medications during pregnancy, so a doctor is unlikely to suggest this treatment.
As many CGRP antagonists require administration by injection, there could be pain at the injection site.
CGRP is a protein that plays a role in the development of migraine. CGRP-blocking drugs block the effects of this protein to try to prevent migraine attacks. They can also shorten the duration of attacks and reduce pain and other symptoms.
Many of these drugs are monoclonal antibodies that a person receives via injection or gepants that people take orally. Current evidence suggests they are safe and effective treatments, but more research is necessary to understand the potential side effects.
People can ask a doctor about CGRP medications and discuss whether it is a suitable treatment for them.