Ajovy (fremanezumab-vfrm) is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help prevent migraine in adults.
Migraine is a type of neurological condition that causes severe headaches. These often occur with symptoms such as nausea and increased sensitivity to light and sound.
Ajovy is typically used as a long-term treatment to help prevent migraine. It can be used for adults with episodic migraine (fewer than 15 headache days per month) or chronic migraine (15 or more headache days per month).
Here are some fast facts about Ajovy:
- Active ingredient: fremanezumab-vfrm, which is a
- Drug class: calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonists
- Drug form: liquid solution in asingle-dose prefilled syringe or autoinjector, given by subcutaneous injection
- FDA approval year: 2018
As with other drugs, Ajovy can cause side effects. Read on to learn about potential common, mild, and serious side effects. For a general overview of Ajovy, see this article.
Ajovy can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few hours to days. But if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
The most common side effects reported by people who took Ajovy in clinical trials were injection site reactions. For more information, see “Side effect specifics” below.
Mild side effects can occur with Ajovy use. This section may not include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Ajovy’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects that have been reported with Ajovy include reactions at the injection site. For more information, see “Side effect specifics” below.
These side effects are usually temporary, lasting a few hours to days. But if they last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while using Ajovy and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.
It’s rare for Ajovy to cause serious side effects. The main serious side effect reported with Ajovy was severe allergic reaction. For more information, see “Side effect specifics” below.
To learn more about possible side effects of Ajovy, you can refer to the drug’s prescribing information.
If you develop serious side effects while using Ajovy, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Ajovy’s side effects and their answers.
Are there reviews from people who had side effects from Ajovy?
It’s possible to find online reviews and testimonials from people who have used Ajovy. But it’s important to keep in mind that these may not be reliable sources of information about the drug. Each person using Ajovy may have a different experience with the medication due to their individual health history.
The way your body responds to Ajovy may be influenced by many factors. These include other conditions you may have and other medications you may take. So your experience with Ajovy may be different from that of other people.
The manufacturer of Ajovy has stories from people who have used this medication to help prevent migraine. But the best source of information about the medication is your doctor. They can give you more details about how the drug affected people in clinical studies. And based on your health history, they can help you decide if Ajovy is a good option for you.
Is hair loss a side effect of Ajovy?
Hair loss isn’t known to be a side effect of Ajovy. Hair loss wasn’t reported in clinical studies of the drug.
Hair loss has been reported with certain other medications used to help prevent migraine, such as Depakote (divalproex) and Topamax (topiramate). Your doctor might prescribe Ajovy with other preventive drugs such as these.
If you’re concerned about hair loss, talk with your doctor. They may be able to suggest ways to help prevent or treat it.
If I stop using Ajovy, could I develop withdrawal symptoms?
It’s not likely. Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that you may have if you stop taking a drug that your body is dependent on. Ajovy doesn’t cause dependence, and withdrawal symptoms haven’t been reported in people who stop using this medication.
However, if you have fewer and less severe migraine episodes with Ajovy, stopping treatment could cause them to return or worsen.
If you’re concerned about stopping Ajovy treatment, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on whether ending your treatment is a good option. If you do stop using the medication, your doctor may recommend switching to a different drug to help prevent migraine.
Does Ajovy cause depression?
No, depression isn’t a known side effect of Ajovy. Depression wasn’t reported in clinical studies of the medication.
It’s important to note that depression has been reported with certain other drugs used to help prevent migraine, such as divalproex and topiramate. Your doctor might prescribe Ajovy with other preventive medications such as these.
Keep in mind that people who have migraine may have a slightly increased risk of developing mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. Also, migraine is more common in people with depression than those without depression.
If you have symptoms of new or worsening depression, or other unusual changes in your mood or behavior, talk with your doctor. They can investigate possible causes and recommend suitable treatments.
Should I expect joint pain during Ajovy treatment?
Joint pain isn’t a known side effect of Ajovy. It wasn’t reported in clinical studies of this medication.
Joint pain has been reported with other drugs used to help prevent migraine, including divalproex and topiramate. Your doctor might prescribe Ajovy with other preventive medications such as these.
If you have joint pain, talk with your doctor. They can look into possible causes and recommend treatments that may help.
Learn more about some of the side effects that Ajovy may cause.
Reactions at the injection site
Ajovy is given as a subcutaneous injection, and it’s possible to have skin reactions around the area where you receive the shot. These are known as injection site reactions. In clinical studies, injection site reactions were the most common side effects reported with Ajovy.
Injection site reactions may include:
- pain or tenderness
- redness or other temporary change in skin color
Injection site reactions are usually mild and temporary. They tend to ease in a few hours to days.
What you can do
To help prevent injection site reactions, you can try using a different site each time you inject Ajovy. Sites you can use for your injection are:
- your belly (at least 2 inches from your belly button)
- front of your thighs (at least 2 inches above your knee and at least 2 inches below your groin)
- back of your upper arms
Your doctor may have you take Ajovy as one injection once every month. Or they may have you take it as three injections once every 3 months. If you need three injections for your dose, you can use the same injection site, such as your belly. However, you should use a slightly different spot for each injection.
To help prevent injection site reactions, it’s also important to carefully follow the instructions for using Ajovy. Here are some key points:
- Before giving yourself an injection, allow Ajovy to reach room temperature after you take it out of the refrigerator. You should not warm up the medication by heating it, such as with hot water or a microwave.
- You should avoid injecting Ajovy into areas of skin that are tender, discolored, bruised, or hard. And you should not inject the medication into areas that have tattoos, scars, or stretch marks.
- If you inject other medications, choose different spots than where you inject Ajovy.
- After injecting Ajovy, press gently on the injection site with a clean cotton ball or gauze pad for a few seconds.
- You should try not to rub the injection site.
If you have an injection site reaction that bothers you, it may help to apply an ice pack to the affected area. If the reaction is severe or lasts longer than a few days, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can recommend possible treatments for injection site reactions.
As with most drugs, Ajovy can cause an allergic reaction in some people. But these reactions aren’t common. When they do occur, they’re typically mild or moderate. Serious allergic reactions are rare.
Allergic reactions can occur within hours after receiving Ajovy. They can also happen for up to a month after having an injection.
Symptoms of mild or serious allergic reactions can include:
- skin rash
- swelling under your skin, typically in your lips, eyelids, feet, or hands
- swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
What you can do
For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep using Ajovy.
But if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. You may need treatment with medications such as corticosteroids. If you have a serious allergic reaction, your doctor will likely recommend that you stop using Ajovy.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you use Ajovy. This drug may not be the right treatment for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. The conditions and factors to consider include:
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Ajovy or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Ajovy. Ask your doctor about other medications that may be better options for you.
Alcohol use with Ajovy
Alcohol isn’t known to affect Ajovy. However, alcohol can be a trigger for migraine in some people.
If you’re not sure what triggers your migraine episodes, it’s useful to keep a migraine diary. This can help you determine if your migraines are linked to certain drinks, foods, or situations. If you notice that alcohol triggers your migraine episodes or makes them worse, it may help to avoid drinking alcohol. You can talk with your doctor to learn more.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding while using Ajovy
It’s not known if Ajovy is safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Pregnancy. Ajovy hasn’t been studied in pregnant people. In animal studies, no negative effects were seen when Ajovy was given to pregnant animals. But keep in mind that studies in animals don’t always predict what will happen in humans. If you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the possible risks and benefits of using Ajovy.
Breastfeeding. It’s not known if Ajovy passes into breast milk or if it can affect a child who is breastfed. If you’re breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of Ajovy treatment.
Ajovy causes very few side effects. Most side effects are mild, temporary, and don’t require medical attention.
Some serious side effects are also possible, although these are rare. Talk with your doctor right away if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction with Ajovy. This could be serious and may need emergency medical treatment.
If you’d like to learn more about Ajovy, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from using the drug.
Besides talking with your doctor or pharmacist, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:
- More information about Ajovy. For details about other aspects of Ajovy, refer to this article.
- A look at migraine. For details about migraine, see our headache and migraine hub, and list of headache and migraine articles.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.