When I heard a new migraine abortive drug class, gepants, was approved by the FDA, I was ecstatic. An abortive is a medication used to stop a migraine attack after one has begun. Like many, I’ve tried the available abortive medications and have not had the greatest success. I still live life with chronic, intractable migraines that interfere with my daily life.
On December 23, 2019, the FDA approved ubrogepant, a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) for for the acute treatment of migraine in adults with and without aura. Two trials conducted were ACHIEVE-1 and ACHIEVE-2. Both found pain relief in 2 hours and significant improvement compared to placebo (the sugar pill). Further, there were NO side effects reported. Unlike triptans, there are no cardiovascular risk factors. One of the main reasons I’ve stopped taking medications is due to troublesome side effects.
There was been so many new therapies coming to the market in the past few years, with new ones expected, it’s such an exciting time for migraine patients. It leaves me overfilled with hope for the future – hope for reduced pain, fewer attacks, and painless days.
After receiving the samples, I have additional thoughts that were not published on my blog post on CMA, Inc.’s blog:
Now I actually hold the samples in my hand. It’s real. They are actually here. It was not easy to get. My headache specialist said there is some controversy whether or not I’m a good candidate. He was trained at the Jefferson Headache Center in Philadelphia, where his mentors are. The million-dollar question is: can someone who is on a CGRP injection take Ubrevly, an abortive CGRP? What is the impact of CGRP in the body? Can there be too much?
I’m still scared, but I want relief. I received these samples knowing there is NO data available yet. It’s a risk. However, I also feel like it was a risk to take a CGRP injection with limited long-term data. Truth be told, I have not taken a sample yet. The first time I tried was a fail, I vomited right away and did not want to waste another sample as I was too nauseous.
I’m scared, but hopeful this will help. There is also the ditan class, lasmiditan (Reyvow), that was also approved by the FDA in quarter 4 of 2019. My doctor told me I’d likely be a better candidate for this medication as it does not work on the CGRP receptor. I’m hoping to start this medication in the near future and feel more comfortable with this medication.
*This is not a substitute medical advice. Please consult your physician*