Emgality (galcanezumab) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to:
- help prevent migraine headache
- treat episodic cluster headaches
Emgality belongs to a class of biologic drugs called monoclonal antibodies. Specifically, it’s a type of monoclonal antibody called a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonist. Emgality isn’t available in a biosimilar form. A biosimilar medication is a drug that’s similar to a brand-name biologic drug (the parent drug).
For information about the dosage of Emgality, including its strengths and how to take the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Emgality, see this article. To learn more about Emgality’s side effects, refer to this article.
This article describes typical dosages for Emgality provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When using Emgality, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Commonly recommended dosages for Emgality are explained below. However, your doctor will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Emgality comes as a subcutaneous injection that you can give yourself. The injection comes in two forms:
- single-dose prefilled pen
- single-dose prefilled syringe
These single-dose forms are meant to be discarded after one use.
Emgality’s prefilled pen comes in one strength: 120 milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL).
The prefilled syringe comes in two strengths: 100 mg/mL and 120 mg/mL.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Emgality is given as a subcutaneous injection using a prefilled pen or a prefilled syringe. You can give yourself this injection or have a caregiver do it.
Dosage for prevention of migraine
For migraine prevention, the recommended starting dose is 240 mg. This dose is given as two 120-mg injections.
- First dose: The first dose is called the loading dose because it quickly loads your body with medication. The recommended loading dose is 240 mg, given as two 120-mg injections.
- Maintenance dosage: The recommended maintenance dosage is 120 mg once per month. Typically, your doctor will prescribe this dosage 1 month after your loading dose.
Dosage for treatment of cluster headache
For treatment of episodic cluster headaches, the recommended dose is 300 mg. This dose is given as three 100-mg injections. You’ll repeat the 300-mg dose once per month until the end of the cluster period.
Emgality is meant to be used long-term to help prevent migraine headache. Emgality is also meant to be used for an entire episodic cluster headache period. If you and your doctor determine that Emgality is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
Below are some common questions related to Emgality’s dosage.
Can you use Emgality twice a month?
No, Emgality is only approved to be given once per month. This is the same for migraine prevention and for the treatment of episodic cluster headaches.
Talk with your doctor if you feel like your treatment isn’t working as well as it should. If you need a different dosing schedule, they can recommend another treatment option.
Is there a 240 mg monthly dosage of Emgality?
Yes, there’s a 240-milligram (mg) dose of Emgality. This dose is given as two 120-mg injections. If you’re prescribed this drug for migraine prevention, 240 mg will likely be your starting dose.
If you have questions about your dosage of Emgality, talk with your doctor. They can explain what dosage they prescribe and why.
Emgality is given as a subcutaneous injection using a prefilled pen or a prefilled syringe. A healthcare professional will show you or a caregiver how to give the injection. You can also find instructions for how to use Emgality on the manufacturer’s website.
You’ll use Emgality once per month. You can inject it at any time of day.
Emgality should be stored in the refrigerator. Before injecting it, take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Do not warm or heat Emgality in any other way. Additionally, it’s important not to shake Emgality.
Look at the liquid in the prefilled pen or syringe. Do not inject Emgality if it’s cloudy, discolored, or has anything floating in it.
Choose a site to inject Emgality. You can inject it into your abdomen or thigh. Avoid areas within two inches of your belly button. A caregiver can inject it in your buttocks or the back of your upper arm. Make sure the site isn’t bruised, sore, hard, red, or discolored.
Pick a new site for each monthly dose of Emgality. If a dose requires more than one injection, do not inject them all in the same spot. For example, if you’re giving three 100-milligram injections, you could choose your thigh. Give all three injections in the same thigh, but move to a different spot on your thigh for each injection.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS
If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you miss a dose of Emgality, take it as soon as you remember. Then, start a new monthly dosing schedule based on the date you take the missed dose. If you need help figuring out your dosing schedule, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
It’s important that you do not take more Emgality than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to side effects or overdose.
If you take more than the recommended amount of Emgality
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Emgality. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Emgality for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Emgality without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Emgality that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Emgality. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Emgality. For information about other aspects of Emgality, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects of Emgality, see this article. You can also look at Emgality’s prescribing information.
- Drug comparison. To find out how Emgality compares with Aimovig, read this article.
- Details about headache and migraine. For details about headache and migraine, see our headache and migraine hub.
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.