Vyepti is a brand-name prescription medication that’s used in adults to prevent migraine episodes.

Migraine episodes can involve headaches with throbbing pain, nausea, and vomiting. They can also make you more sensitive to seeing light or hearing sound. You may not be able to function normally when you’re having a migraine episode. And this can affect your daily activities.

For more information about migraine episodes and how Vyepti is used to prevent them, see the “Vyepti for migraine” section below.

Drug details

Vyepti contains the active drug eptinezumab. It’s a biologic drug, which means it’s made from living cells. This drug belongs to a group of medications called calcitonin gene-related peptide antagonists.

At this time, Vyepti is approved only for use in adults. It’s not known if the drug is safe or effective to prevent migraine episodes in children.

Vyepti comes as a solution, in one strength: 100 milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL). It’s given as an intravenous (IV) infusion, which is an injection into your vein that’s given over a period of time. Usually, this drug is administered once every 3 months. And it’s given by healthcare providers.

FDA approval

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Vyepti in February 2020. It’s the first and only medication approved to prevent migraine episodes that’s given by IV infusion.

Other medications that belong to the same group of drugs as Vyepti are given as subcutaneous injections (injections under your skin). However, IV administration allows more of the drug to be absorbed into your body and to be absorbed faster. So, Vyepti might be more beneficial to certain people with migraine.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Vyepti, see the “Vyepti for migraine” section below.

Vyepti contains the active drug eptinezumab-jjmr. The reason “-jjmr” appears at the end of the name is to show that the drug is distinct from similar medications that may be created in the future.

Vyepti is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s a biologic drug, which means it’s made from living cells. Biologics don’t have generic forms. (Generic drugs are exact copies of drugs made from chemicals.)

Instead, biologics may have biosimilar forms. These forms, which are also made from living cells, work in the same way as their original biologic. However, because biologics are made from living cells, they can’t be copied exactly.

Even though a biologic and its biosimilar aren’t exactly the same, they’re both considered to be just as safe and effective.

At this time, Vyepti isn’t available in any biosimilar forms.

As with all medications, the cost of Vyepti can vary. To find current prices for Vyepti in your area, check out GoodRx.com.

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

It’s important to note that you may have to get Vyepti at a specialty pharmacy. This type of pharmacy is authorized to carry specialty medications. These are drugs that may be expensive or may require help from healthcare professionals to be used safely and effectively.

Before approving coverage for Vyepti, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Vyepti, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Vyepti, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Lundbeck Seattle BioPharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Vyepti, offers advice through the Vyepti Copay Assistance Program. This program may help lower the cost of Vyepti treatment. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 833-4-VYEPTI (833-489-3784) or visit the manufacturer’s website.

In addition, you can visit this web page to learn about insurance coverage of Vyepti.

Generic or biosimilar version

Vyepti is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s a biologic drug, which means it’s made from living cells. Biologics don’t have generic forms. (Generic drugs are exact copies of drugs made from chemicals.)

Instead, biologics may have biosimilar forms. These forms, which are also made from living cells, work in the same way as their original biologic. However, because biologics are made from living cells, they can’t be copied exactly.

Even though a biologic and its biosimilar aren’t exactly the same, they’re both considered to be just as safe and effective.

At this time, Vyepti isn’t available in any biosimilar forms. Biosimilar drugs usually cost less than biologic drugs.

The Vyepti dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on the severity of the condition you’re using Vyepti to treat.

Typically, your doctor will start you on a certain dosage of Vyepti. Then they may adjust your dosage over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

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.

Drug forms and strengths

Vyepti comes as a solution, in one strength: 100 milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL). It’s given as an intravenous (IV) infusion, which is an injection into your vein that’s given over a period of time.

Vyepti infusions are given by healthcare providers, over about 30 minutes. You’ll get doses of the drug in your doctor’s office, an infusion center, or a hospital.

Dosage for migraine

The typical dosage of Vyepti to prevent migraine episodes is 100 mg once every 3 months.

In some cases, such as if Vyepti isn’t working for you, your doctor may recommend increasing your dosage to 300 mg once every 3 months.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss your appointment to get a dose of Vyepti, call your doctor’s office to reschedule your appointment as soon as possible.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Vyepti is meant to be used as a long-term treatment to prevent migraine episodes. If you and your doctor determine that Vyepti is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Vyepti to treat certain conditions. Vyepti may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Vyepti is approved to prevent migraine episodes in adults.

Migraine episodes can involve:

  • headaches with throbbing pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sensitivity to seeing light or hearing sound

Often, people with migraine have recurrent migraine episodes, which means the episodes come back repeatedly. So, if you experience a migraine episode, it’s likely you’ll have more than one.

Migraine episodes can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days in length. And they can greatly impact your daily life. For example, when you’re having a migraine episode, you may not be able to function normally. And this can affect your ability to attend school, work, or social activities.

Effectiveness for migraine

In studies, Vyepti was an effective option to prevent migraine episodes. For more information about how effective Vyepti was during clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

If you still have questions about the effectiveness of Vyepti, you may wish to visit the drug manufacturer’s website.

Vyepti and children

Vyepti isn’t approved for use in children. It’s not known if Vyepti is safe or effective for use in children.

Vyepti can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Vyepti. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Vyepti, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Vyepti, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Vyepti can include:

  • cold symptoms, which are described below in “Side effect details”

This side effect may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if cold symptoms become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* To learn about this mild side effect of Vyepti, you can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Vyepti’s patient information.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Vyepti aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

Side effect details

Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Colds

Cold symptoms were a common side effect in people using Vyepti during clinical studies.

Symptoms of a cold can include a stuffy nose or scratchy throat.

If you have cold symptoms while you’re taking Vyepti, or if they’re bothersome to you, talk with your doctor. They may be able to recommend ways to boost the activity of your immune system so that your body can better fight off colds. They can also suggest at-home remedies to help ease your symptoms.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Vyepti.

In clinical studies, some people taking Vyepti did have an allergic reaction. This included reactions that caused rash and swelling of the mouth or face. Most of the allergic reactions seen in the studies weren’t serious. However, some cases were serious.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth, swelling, or redness or discoloration in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Vyepti, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

There aren’t any known interactions between Vyepti and alcohol.

If you have any questions about drinking alcohol while you’re using Vyepti, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Vyepti isn’t known to interact with other medications. It’s also not known to interact with supplements or foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Vyepti and other medications

Vyepti isn’t known to interact with other medications.

But to be safe, talk with your doctor and pharmacist before taking Vyepti. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Vyepti and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Vyepti. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Vyepti.

Vyepti and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Vyepti. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Vyepti, talk with your doctor.

You’ll receive Vyepti according to your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions.

Vyepti is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion, which is an injection into your vein that’s given over a period of time.

Vyepti infusions are given by healthcare providers, over about 30 minutes. You’ll get doses of the drug in your doctor’s office, an infusion center, or a hospital.

When it’s given

Vyepti infusions are usually given once every 3 months.

To help make sure that you don’t miss an appointment for your dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app.

Vyepti is approved to prevent migraine episodes in adults.

Migraine episodes can involve headaches with throbbing pain, nausea, and vomiting. For more information about migraine episodes and how Vyepti is used to prevent them, see the “Vyepti for migraine” section above.

Vyepti works to prevent migraine episodes by blocking a protein in your body called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). This protein is believed to play a part in the cause of migraine episodes. So, by blocking CGRP, Vyepti prevents migraine episodes from occurring in the future.

How long does it take to work?

Vyepti begins working right away to prevent migraine episodes.

It’s given into your vein, so it goes directly into your blood stream. This means the medication can start working as soon as you get your dose. In fact, you may notice that you don’t experience any migraine episodes from the first day of Vyepti treatment.

It’s not known whether Vyepti is a safe option for use in pregnant people. At this time, there aren’t any clinical trials or reports involving use of Vyepti during pregnancy.

In animal studies, pregnant animals that were given Vyepti didn’t have developmental problems with their pregnancies. However, animal studies don’t always predict what may happen in humans.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before starting Vyepti.

It’s not known if Vyepti is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Vyepti.

For more information about taking Vyepti during pregnancy, see the “Vyepti and pregnancy” section above.

It’s not known if Vyepti passes into breast milk, or if it has an effect on a child who’s breastfed. At this time, there aren’t any studies involving breastfeeding humans or animals.

If you’re breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before starting Vyepti.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Vyepti.

Does Vyepti treat migraine headaches when they’re happening?

No, Vyepti doesn’t treat migraine headaches that are already happening. Instead, Vyepti works to prevent migraine episodes that may occur in the future.

Vyepti works by blocking a protein in your body called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). This protein is believed to play a part in the cause of migraine episodes. So, by blocking CGRP, Vyepti helps prevent migraine episodes from occurring in the future. However, the drug doesn’t treat a migraine episode that’s already occurring.

If you’d like to know about ways to manage migraine headaches when they’re happening, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

How long will Vyepti keep working after I receive a dose?

Vyepti will begin working right after you receive your dose. Since it’s given into your vein, it starts working right away.

The medication will continue to work to prevent migraine episodes over the next 3 months. You should get a dose of Vyepti once every 3 months to be sure that you have a consistent amount of the medication in your body to help prevent migraine episodes.

Will Vyepti cure migraine?

No, Vyepti won’t cure your migraine episodes. However, it can prevent them from occurring. At this time, there’s no known cure for migraine.

Before taking Vyepti, talk with your doctor about your health history. Vyepti may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Vyepti or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take Vyepti. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. It is not known if Vyepti is a safe option for pregnant women. For more information, see the “Vyepti and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It is not known if Vyepti is safe while breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Vyepti and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Vyepti, see the “Vyepti side effects” section above.

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 other 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.