Emgality is a brand-name prescription medication that’s FDA-approved for use in adults to:

  • Prevent chronic and episodic migraine headaches. According to the International Headache Society, people with chronic migraine have 15 or more migraine days per month. People with episodic migraine have fewer than 15 migraine days per month.
  • Treat episodic cluster headaches. According to the International Headache Society, people with episodic cluster headaches have headaches that occur in clusters (close to each other in timing). The clusters last anywhere from 1 week to 1 year. They’re separated by at least 3 months of pain-free time.

Emgality comes as a prefilled pen or syringe that you’ll use to give yourself a monthly injection.

Emgality contains the drug galcanezumab, which is a monoclonal antibody. A monoclonal antibody is a type of drug developed from immune system cells in a lab. It blocks the activity of certain proteins in your body.

FDA approval

Emgality was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2018.

A new kind of drug

Emgality belongs to a new class of drugs called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonists. CGRP antagonists were designed specifically to prevent migraine headaches. While Emgality is approved to treat cluster headaches and to prevent migraine headaches, other CGRP antagonists are only approved for migraine prevention.

Emgality was the third drug in this class approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The other FDA-approved CGRP antagonists are Aimovig, which was approved in May 2018, Ajovy, which was approved in September 2018, and Vyepti, which was approved in February 2020.

Effectiveness

Emgality has been found effective in clinical studies to prevent chronic and episodic migraine headaches and to treat episodic cluster headaches.

Emgality may be an especially effective option for people who haven’t been able to reduce their number of cluster headaches or migraine days enough with other therapies. It may also be a good option for people who can’t take other medications to prevent migraine headaches or treat cluster headaches because of drug interactions or difficult side effects.

For more information on Emgality’s effectiveness, see the “Emgality Uses” section.

Emgality is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form.

A generic drug is an exact copy of a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Emgality contains the drug galcanezumab.

Emgality can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Emgality. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

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

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

More common side effects

The most common side effects of Emgality are injection site reactions. This can include the following effects at the site where you inject the drug:

  • redness
  • itchiness
  • pain
  • tenderness

Injection site reactions usually aren’t severe or lasting. Most of the side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

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

Serious side effects are explained in more detail below in “Side effect details.” These include:

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug, or whether certain side effects pertain to it. Here’s some detail on a few of the side effects this drug may or may not cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Emgality. It’s not known for sure how many people taking Emgality have an allergic reaction to the drug. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

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 a severe allergic reaction to Emgality. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Fatigue

Fatigue (lack of energy) wasn’t reported as a side effect in clinical studies of Emgality.

However, fatigue is commonly a symptom of migraine that people can experience before, during, or after a migraine headache. One clinical study of people with migraine found that those with more intense migraine headaches were more likely to feel fatigue.

If fatigue is having a negative effect on your life, talk with your doctor about ways to improve your energy levels.

As for all medications, prices for Emgality can vary. To find current prices for Emgality in your area, check out GoodRx.com.


The cost shown on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. Your actual cost will depend on your insurance coverage and the pharmacy you use.

Your insurance plan may require you to get prior authorization before approving coverage for Emgality. 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 request and let you and your doctor know if your plan will cover Emgality.

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

Financial assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Emgality, help is available.

Eli Lilly and Company, the manufacturer of Emgality, offers a savings card that can help you pay less for Emgality. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible, call 833-364-2548 or visit the program website.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Emgality to treat or prevent certain conditions.

Emgality for migraine prevention

Emgality is FDA-approved to prevent migraine headaches in adults. It’s used to prevent both episodic and chronic migraine headaches. Chronic migraine headaches occur on 15 or more days per month, while episodic migraine headaches occur on fewer than 15 days per month.

Effectiveness for migraine prevention

In a clinical study of people with chronic migraine, people taking Emgality lowered their number of monthly headache days by 4.8 days. In comparison, people taking a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) lowered their number of monthly headache days by 2.7 days.

Also, 28% of people who took Emgality for 3 months had their number of migraine days per month cut in half. In comparison, 15% of people taking a placebo had their number of migraine days per month cut in half.

In clinical studies of people with episodic migraine, people taking Emgality lowered the number of monthly headache days by about 4.5 days. In comparison, people taking placebo (drug with no active ingredient) lowered the number of monthly headache days by about 2.5 days.

Also, around 60% of people taking Emgality cut their number of migraine days at least in half over 6 months. In comparison, nearly 40% of people taking placebo cut their number of migraine days in at least half over 6 months. Up to 16% of people taking Emgality were migraine-free over 6 months of treatment compared to 6% in people taking placebo.

Emgality for cluster headaches

Emgality is FDA-approved to treat episodic cluster headaches in adults.

Cluster headaches are painful headaches that happen in clusters (several headaches in a short time period). This type of headache is very painful and can be episodic or chronic. Episodic cluster headaches have longer headache-free periods in between clusters than chronic cluster headaches do.

Effectiveness for cluster headaches

In a clinical study, people with episodic cluster headaches were given either Emgality or a placebo. After 3 weeks, people using Emgality had 8.7 fewer cluster headaches each week than they had before treatment. People taking the placebo had 5.2 fewer cluster headaches each week than they had before treatment.

Off-label uses for Emgality

Doctors may also prescribe drugs for other conditions that aren’t FDA-approved. This use is called off-label drug use.

Emgality for vestibular migraine headaches

Emgality isn’t FDA-approved to treat or prevent vestibular migraine headaches. Vestibular migraine headaches are different from classic migraine headaches in that they’re not painful most of the time. Instead, people with vestibular migraine headaches will commonly feel vertigo or dizziness that lasts from seconds to hours.

It’s not known at this time if Emgality is effective at preventing or treating vestibular migraine headaches. The drug isn’t being tested in clinical studies of people with vestibular migraine headaches, but doctors may still choose to prescribe it off-label for this condition.

Other drugs are available that can help prevent migraine headaches and treat cluster headaches. Some may be better suited for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Emgality, talk to your doctor to learn more about other medications that may work well for you.

Alternatives for migraine prevention

Examples of other drugs that are FDA-approved to prevent migraine headaches include:

  • certain seizure medications, such as divalproex sodium (Depakote) or topiramate (Topamax, Trokendi XR)
  • the beta-blocker propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA)
  • the neurotoxin onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox)
  • other calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonists: erenumab-aooe (Aimovig), fremanezumab-vfrm (Ajovy), and eptinezumab-jjmr (Vyepti)

Examples of other drugs that may be used off-label to prevent migraine headaches include:

  • certain antidepressants, such as amitriptyline or venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • certain seizure medications, such as valproate sodium
  • certain beta-blockers, such as metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL) or atenolol (Tenormin)

Alternatives for cluster headache treatment

Sumatriptan (Imitrex) is FDA-approved to treat cluster headaches.

Other drugs are sometimes used off-label to treat cluster headaches. According to treatment guidelines, other options for treating cluster headaches include:

  • zolmitriptan (Zomig)
  • oxygen
  • octreotide (Sandostatin)

CGRP antagonists

Emgality is a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonist, which is a new type of drug. Emgality was approved by the FDA to prevent migraine headaches in 2018. It was approved to treat episodic cluster headaches in 2019.

Three other CGRP antagonists are also approved to prevent migraine headaches. These drugs are erenumab-aooe (Aimovig), fremanezumab-vfrm (Ajovy), and eptinezumab-jjmr (Vyepti).

How they work

The four available CGRP antagonists work in slightly different ways to prevent migraine headaches or treat cluster headaches.

CGRP is a protein in your body that’s been linked with inflammation and vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) in the brain, which may cause the pain from headaches. To cause these effects, CGRP needs to bind (attach) to its receptors, which are molecules on the walls of cells in your brain.

Emgality, Ajovy, and Vyepti work by binding to the CGRP, which prevents the CGRP from binding to its receptors. Aimovig, on the other hand, works by binding to the receptors themselves, which blocks the CGRP from doing the same.

By blocking CGRP from binding with its receptor, all four drugs help prevent inflammation and vasodilation, which can help prevent migraine headaches or treat cluster headaches.

Side-by-side comparisons

The lists below compare general information about the CGRP antagonists that are currently approved to prevent migraine headaches or treat cluster headaches. Also, see the “Emgality vs. Aimovig” and “Emgality vs. Ajovy” sections below for more information on those drugs.

  • Approval date for migraine prevention
    • Aimovig: May 17, 2018
    • Ajovy: September 14, 2018
    • Emgality: September 27, 2018
    • Vyepti: February 21, 2020
  • Approval date for cluster headache treatment
    • Aimovig: Not approved
    • Ajovy: Not approved
    • Emgality: June 4, 2019
    • Vyepti: Not approved
  • Drug ingredient
    • Aimovig: erenumab-aooe
    • Ajovy: fremanezumab-vfrm
    • Emgality: galcanezumab-gnlm
    • Vyepti: eptinezumab-jjmr
  • How it’s administered
    • Aimovig: Subcutaneous self-injection using a prefilled autoinjector
    • Ajovy: Subcutaneous self-injection using a prefilled syringe
    • Emgality: Subcutaneous self-injection using a prefilled pen or syringe
    • Vyepti: Intravenous infusion using a single-dose vial
  • Dosing
    • Aimovig: Monthly
    • Ajovy: Monthly or every 3 months
    • Emgality: Monthly
    • Vyepti: Every 3 months
  • How it works
    • Aimovig: Prevents CGRP’s effects by blocking the CGRP receptor, which prevents CGRP from attaching to it
    • Ajovy: Prevents CGRP’s effects by attaching to CGRP, which prevents it from binding to the CGRP receptor
    • Emgality: Prevents CGRP’s effects by attaching to CGRP, which prevents it from binding to the CGRP receptor
    • Vyepti: Prevents CGRP’s effects by attaching to CGRP, which prevents it from binding to the CGRP receptor
  • Cost*
    • Aimovig: $575/month
    • Ajovy: $575/month or $1,725/quarter
    • Emgality: $575/month
    • Vyepti: Not available at time of publication

* Prices can vary depending on your location, the pharmacy used, your insurance coverage, and manufacturer assistance programs.

You may wonder how Emgality compares to other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Emgality and Aimovig are alike and different.

About

Emgality contains a monoclonal antibody called galcanezumab. Aimovig also contains a monoclonal antibody, which is called erenumab-aooe. A monoclonal antibody is a type of drug developed from immune system cells in a lab. It blocks the activity of certain proteins in your body.

While they do it in slightly different ways, Emgality and Aimovig both block the activity of a protein called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). CGRP causes inflammation and vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) in the brain, which may cause headaches. By blocking CGRP, these drugs help prevent these effects, which may help prevent migraine headaches and treat cluster headaches.

Uses

Emgality and Aimovig are both FDA-approved to prevent migraine headaches in adults. Emgality is also approved to treat episodic cluster headaches in adults.

Drug forms and administration

Emgality and Aimovig both are given as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin) that you give yourself at home. Emgality comes as a single-dose prefilled syringe or pen. Aimovig comes as a single-dose auto-injector (device that automatically administers the medication) or syringe.

Both drugs can be injected in your abdomen (belly), front of your thighs, or back of your upper arms. Emgality can also be injected in your buttocks.

Side effects and risks

Emgality and Aimovig both belong to the class of drugs called CGRP antagonists. They’re very similar drugs and cause similar common and serious side effects.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Aimovig or with both Emgality and Aimovig (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Aimovig:
    • muscle cramps
    • muscle spasms
  • Can occur with both Emgality and Aimovig:
    • injection site reactions

Serious side effects

This list contains examples of serious side effects that can occur with Aimovig or with both Emgality and Aimovig (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Aimovig:
    • severe constipation
  • Can occur with both Emgality and Aimovig:

Immune reaction

In clinical trials of both Emgality and Aimovig, a small percentage of people had an immune reaction in which they developed antibodies against the drugs.

Antibodies are proteins in the immune system that fight foreign substances in your body as invaders. The body can make antibodies to any foreign substance, including monoclonal antibodies. If this happens with Emgality or Aimovig, the drug may no longer work for you.

In clinical studies of Emgality that lasted up to one year, 12.5 percent of people taking 120 mg per month of the drug developed antibodies to the drug.

In clinical studies of Aimovig that lasted 6 months, more than 6 percent of people taking 70 mg per month developed antibodies to the drug. And nearly 3 percent of people taking 140 mg per month of Aimovig developed antibodies to the drug.

However, because these drugs were approved in 2018, it’s still too early to know how common this effect will be and how it might affect how people use these drugs.

Effectiveness

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies. However, studies have found both Emgality and Aimovig to be effective for preventing episodic and chronic migraine headaches.

Costs

Emgality and Aimovig are both brand-name medications. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name drugs usually cost more than generics.

While the manufacturer’s price is the same for both drugs, estimates from GoodRx.com indicate that Emgality may cost slightly less than Aimovig. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, the pharmacy you use, and the dosage you’re taking.

Emgality and Ajovy are prescribed for similar uses. Below are details of how these medications are alike and different.

About

Emgality contains a monoclonal antibody called galcanezumab. Ajovy contains a monoclonal antibody called fremanezumab-vfrm. A monoclonal antibody is a type of drug developed from immune system cells in a lab. It blocks the activity of certain proteins in your body.

Emgality and Ajovy both block the activity of a protein in your body called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). CGRP causes inflammation and vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) in the brain, which may cause headaches. By blocking CGRP, these drugs help prevent these effects, which may help prevent migraine headaches and treat cluster headaches.

Uses

Emgality and Ajovy are both FDA-approved to prevent migraine headaches in adults. Emgality is also approved to treat episodic cluster headaches in adults.

Drug forms and administration

Emgality comes as a single-dose prefilled syringe or pen. Ajovy comes as a single-dose prefilled syringe. Both drugs are given as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin) that you administer yourself at home.

Both drugs can be injected in your belly, front of your thighs, or back of your upper arms. Emgality can also be injected in your buttocks.

Side effects and risks

Emgality and Ajovy are very similar drugs and cause the same common and serious side effects.

More common side effects

The common side effect that can occur with both Emgality and Ajovy (when taken individually) is an injection site reaction. This reaction can cause symptoms such as redness, itchiness, and pain at the spot where you injected the medication. Injection site reactions are usually not severe.

Serious side effects

The only serious side effect that may occur with both Emgality and Ajovy (when taken individually) is serious allergic reaction.

Immune reaction

In clinical trials for Emgality and Ajovy, a small percentage of people had an immune reaction in which their body developed antibodies against the drugs.

Antibodies are proteins in your immune system that fight foreign substances in your body as invaders. The body can make antibodies to any foreign substance, including monoclonal antibodies such as Emgality and Ajovy.

If your body develops antibodies to one of these drugs, it’s possible that the drug will no longer work for you.

In clinical studies that lasted up to one year, 12.5 percent of people taking 120 mg per month of Emgality developed antibodies to the drug. In clinical studies of Ajovy, less than 2 percent of people taking monthly or quarterly doses of Ajovy developed antibodies to the drug over 6 months.

However, as these drugs were approved in 2018, it’s still too early to know how common this effect will be and how it might affect how people use these drugs.

Effectiveness

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies. However, studies have found both Emgality and Ajovy to be effective for preventing episodic and chronic migraine headaches.

Costs

Emgality and Ajovy are both brand-name medications. There are no generic forms of either drugs available at this time. Brand-name medications generally cost more than generics.

While the manufacturer’s price is the same for both drugs, estimates from GoodRx.com indicate that Emgality may cost less than Ajovy. The actual amount you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan and the pharmacy you use.

The following information describes the dosage that’s commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Drug forms and strengths

Emgality comes in two forms: single-dose prefilled syringes and single-dose prefilled pens. The prefilled pens contain 120 mg of galcanezumab per milliliter (mL) of solution. Prefilled syringes come in two strengths: 100 mg/mL and 120 mg/mL.

Each syringe and pen is made to be used once and then discarded.

Dosage for migraine prevention

For migraine prevention, either the prefilled pen or a prefilled syringe containing one 120-mg dose of Emgality is used. The typical dosage for Emgality is as follows:

  • First dose: Your first dose is called a loading dose. It will be two injections of 120 mg, given one after the other. Injecting two doses allows the drug to quickly reach an effective level in your body.
  • All other doses: The second dose is given a month after the first. From the second dose on, you will take a single injection of 120 mg once per month.

Dosage for cluster headache treatment

For cluster headache treatment, a prefilled syringe containing one 100-mg dose of Emgality is used. The typical dosage for Emgality is as follows:

  • All doses: You’ll take three injections of 100 mg (for a total of 300 mg), given one after the other. Injecting three doses allows the drug to quickly reach an effective level in your body. You’ll take this dose once each month until your cluster headache period ends.

What if I miss a dose?

Take a dose as soon as you realize that you missed one. Your next dose should be a month after that one. Remember the new date so you can plan future doses accordingly.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

If Emgality is effective at preventing migraine headaches for you, you and your doctor may decide to continue treatment with Emgality long term.

If Emgality is effective at treating your cluster headaches, you and your doctor may decide to continue treatment until your cluster headache period ends.

There is no known interaction between Emgality and alcohol.

However, for some people, drinking alcohol while taking Emgality may seem to make the drug less effective. This is because alcohol is a migraine trigger for many people, and even small amounts of alcohol can cause a migraine for them. It’s also thought that alcohol can worsen headaches during cluster headache attacks.

If you find that alcohol causes more painful or more frequent migraine headaches or headaches, you should avoid drinks that contain alcohol.

Many drugs can interact with other medications. Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can cause increased side effects.

However, Emgality doesn’t generally have drug interactions. This is because of the way Emgality is processed in the body.

Many drugs, herbs, and supplements are metabolized (broken down) by enzymes in the liver. Monoclonal antibodies such as Emgality, on the other hand, aren’t generally metabolized in the liver. Instead, they’re broken down inside cells throughout the body.

Because Emgality isn’t broken down in the liver with other drugs, it generally doesn’t interact with them. But if you’re concerned about taking Emgality with other medications you may be using, talk to your doctor.

Emgality is taken as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin) once each month. When you first get your prescription for Emgality, your healthcare provider will explain how to inject the medication yourself.

The first time you inject Emgality, you may do it at your doctor’s office or at your home. Either way, you’ll give yourself two or three separate injections. After that, you’ll give yourself one injection at home each month to prevent migraine headaches. You’ll give yourself three injections each month to treat cluster headaches.

Emgality comes in two forms: single-dose prefilled syringes and single-dose prefilled pens. Both forms contain only one dose and are meant to be used once and then discarded. Your doctor will discuss with you whether the pen or syringe is right for you.

For information on how to use both the syringe and the pen, visit the manufacturer’s website. There you’ll be able to see an instructional video and images of injection instructions.

Note: Remember that for your very first dose, you’ll need either two syringes or pens, or three syringes.

Timing

Emgality should be taken once every month. It can be taken at any time of day.

If you miss a dose, take Emgality as soon as you remember. The next dose should be taken a month after you take that one. A medication reminder tool can help you remember to take Emgality on schedule.

Taking Emgality with food

Emgality can be taken with or without food.

Emgality is a monoclonal antibody, which is a special immune system protein created in a lab.

Emgality works by blocking the activity of the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) protein in your body. CGRP is involved in inflammation and vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) in your brain.

CGRP is thought to play an important role in causing headaches. In fact, people who are starting to get a migraine or cluster headache have high levels of CGRP in their blood. By blocking the activity of CGRP, Emgality helps prevent migraine headaches from starting and treats cluster headaches.

While most drugs target (act on) multiple chemicals or parts of cells in your body, monoclonal antibodies such as Emgality only target one substance in the body. As a result, Emgality has fewer side effects and drug interactions. This may make it a good option for people who can’t tolerate other medications.

It may also be a good option for people who have tried other medications that didn’t help reduce their migraine days or cluster headaches enough.

How long does it take to work?

It may take a week to several weeks for you to notice any changes in your headache pattern caused by Emgality. And it may be several months before Emgality takes full effect.

In clinical studies, many people who took Emgality had fewer migraine days within a month of their first dose. The number of migraine days continued to decrease over several months. For those with cluster headaches, many people had fewer cluster headache attacks within the first week of treatment.

There aren’t enough studies to know if Emgality is safe to take during pregnancy. Animal studies showed no harm to a pregnancy when the mother received Emgality. However, animal studies don’t always predict whether drugs will be safe in humans.

If you’re pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, talk with your doctor to see if Emgality is right for you. You may need to wait until you’re no longer pregnant to use Emgality.

It’s not known if Emgality is safe to use 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 Emgality.

It’s not known if Emgality passes into breast milk.

If you’re breastfeeding your child or would like to, your doctor will talk with you about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding while taking Emgality. You may need to stop breastfeeding if you begin taking Emgality.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Emgality.

Is Emgality a triptan?

No, Emgality isn’t a triptan. Triptans, such as sumatriptan (Imitrex), are a class of medications that are used to treat migraine headaches or cluster headaches when they occur. Emgality is used to prevent migraine headaches from happening. Emgality and triptans work in different ways to affect migraine headaches or cluster headaches.

Is Emgality the same as Aimovig?

No. Emgality (galcanezumab) and Aimovig (erenumab-aooe) are both medications used to prevent migraine, and they both belong to a new class of drugs called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonists. However, Emgality is also approved to treat cluster headaches. These drugs work in slightly different ways in your body.

CGRP is a protein in your body that’s been linked with inflammation and vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) in the brain. To cause these effects, CGRP needs to bind (attach) to its receptors, which are molecules on the walls of cells in your brain.

Emgality works by binding to CGRP itself, which blocks CGRP from binding to its receptors. Aimovig, on the other hand, binds to the CGRP receptors, which also prevents CGRP from binding.

So both drugs block CGRP from binding to its receptors, but they do it in slightly different ways. Your doctor will determine which medication is right for you.

How is Emgality different from other migraine drugs?

Emgality is different from most other migraine drugs because it’s one of the first drugs developed specifically to prevent migraine headaches. It belongs to a new class of drugs called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonists.

Most other drugs used to prevent migraine headaches were initially developed for different purposes, such as treating depression, seizures, or high blood pressure. Many are used off-label to prevent migraine headaches.

Emgality is also different from most other migraine drugs because it’s injected once per month. Most other medications used to prevent migraine headaches are tablets or pills that need to be taken daily. Botox, one alternative drug, is an injection, but it’s given once every 3 months in a doctor’s office. Emgality is given as a self-injection in your home.

In addition, Emgality is a monoclonal antibody. This is a type of drug developed from immune system cells in a lab. These drugs aren’t broken down by the liver, as most other migraine prevention drugs are. As a result, Emgality and other monoclonal antibodies have fewer drug interactions than other drugs that prevent migraine headaches.

Does Emgality cure migraine?

No, Emgality doesn’t cure migraine. There are no medications available at this time that can cure migraine.

If I take Emgality, can I stop taking my other preventive medications?

Every person’s response to Emgality will be unique. Some people may be able to stop taking their other preventive medications, while others may not. For instance, if you have more frequent migraine headaches or cluster headaches, Emgality may be best used as an addition to the medications you already take. Talk with your doctor about which medications are right for your condition.

Injecting multiple doses of Emgality can increase your risk of injection site reactions. If you’re hypersensitive or allergic to Emgality, you may also be at risk of having a more severe reaction.

Symptoms of overdose or reaction from multiple injections

Symptoms of an overdose or a severe reaction from multiple injections can include:

  • severe pain, redness, or itchiness in the area near the injection
  • flushing
  • hives
  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your throat, mouth, or tongue
  • trouble breathing

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or seek guidance from the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or through their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Before taking Emgality, talk with your doctor about your health history. Emgality may not be right for you if you have the following medical history:

  • History of serious hypersensitivity reaction to Emgality. Emgality shouldn’t be used in people who’ve had a serious hypersensitivity reaction to Emgality in the past. A serious reaction involves a rash, itchy skin, and trouble breathing. This can occur hours to days after taking a dose.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known if Emgality is safe to take during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Emgality and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s unknown if it’s safe to breastfeed while taking Emgality. For more information, see the “Emgality and breastfeeding” section above.

When Emgality is dispensed from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the package. This date is typically 1 year from the date the medication was dispensed.

The expiration date helps guarantee the effectiveness of the medication during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains effective can depend on many factors, including how and where the medication is stored.

Emgality should be stored in the refrigerator, at a temperature between 36⁰F and 46⁰F (2⁰C and 8⁰C). It shouldn’t be frozen. Emgality can be stored at room temperature (up to 86⁰F/30⁰C) for up to 7 days. Once it has been removed from the refrigerator, don’t put it back in the refrigerator.

Disposal

After taking your injections, you’ll need to safely dispose of the needles you used. The manufacturer of Emgality has a program that can provide you with free sharps disposal containers. To find out more about this program, visit the manufacturer’s website or call 833-364-2548.

If you no longer need to take Emgality and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

The FDA website provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information on how to dispose of your medication.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Emgality is approved for use in adults for:

Mechanism of action

Emgality (galcanezumab) is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from binding to its receptor by binding directly to the CGRP ligand.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Emgality is administered as a loading dose (two injections of 120 mg each) to reach steady-state concentration after the first dose for migraine prevention.

There is no loading dose for treatment of cluster headaches. Steady-state concentration of Emgality when used to treat cluster headaches is reached after four doses (one dose each month for 4 months).

Maximum concentration is achieved in 5 days. The injection site location doesn’t affect absorption.

Emgality is degraded to small peptides and amino acids via catabolism. It’s not metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes. Elimination half-life is approximately 27 days.

Contraindications

Emgality is contraindicated in people with a history of serious hypersensitivity to galcanezumab or any of the drug’s excipients.

Storage

Emgality should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of 36⁰F to 46⁰F (2⁰C to 8⁰C). Emgality’s shelf life is 2 years if maintained in the refrigerator. It can be stored at room temperature (up to 86⁰F/30⁰C) for up to 7 days. Once removed from the refrigerator, it cannot be placed back into the refrigerator. It should not be frozen.

Protect Emgality from light once it’s taken out of its packaging. Don’t shake Emgality products.

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.