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Ajovy (fremanezumab) approved by Health Canada

As of April 9th, Health Canada has approved Ajovy for use in Canada [1]. This is great news for people living with Migraine

<span style="font-weight: 400;">A migraine is a powerful headache that often happens with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Migraines can last from 4 hours to 3 days, and sometimes longer.Most people start having migraine headaches between ages 10 and 40. But many women find that their migraines improve or disappear after age 50.</span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Référence : webmd.com, </span></i><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/migraines-headaches-migraines#1</span></i><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">  consulted on july 4</span></i><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">th</span></i><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">,2019.</span></i>
" >migraine [2]!

** ALWAYS discuss with your health care provider when making decisions about medications.

What is Ajovy?

Ajovy is a monoclonal antibody targeting CGRP. See more on CGRP antibodies by searching the key word CGRP on our website. Ajovy is used for the prevention of migraine in adults who have 4 days of migraine per month or more.

Is Ajovy different from Aimovig or Emgality?

There are two key practical differences regarding Ajovy.

  1. The drug comes in a pre-filled syringe, not an auto-injector.
  2. Ajovy can be injected every 3 months (quarterly, then you inject 3 doses) or once every month (1 dose). Some patients prefer injecting every 3 months.

Science wise, Ajovy binds CGRP itself, like Emgality. Aimoving binds the CGRP receptor. We do not know yet if this has an impact on effectiveness or side effects [3].

When will Ajovy be available in pharmacies?

We do not know exactly, but it could be in the Fall of 2020.

Will Ajovy be covered by insurance companies? Will there be a Patient Support Program?

See our recent post on CGRP antibody coverage. Teva has submitted Ajovy to CADTH for evaluation by public payers. There will very probably be a Patient Support Program, but no details are available yet. Stay tuned!

How effective is Ajovy to prevent migraine?

Type of migraine and response Chances of response
(mean rounded numbers from clinical trials)
Episodic Migraine
<span style="font-weight: 400;">A migraine is a powerful headache that often happens with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Migraines can last from 4 hours to 3 days, and sometimes longer.Most people start having migraine headaches between ages 10 and 40. But many women find that their migraines improve or disappear after age 50.</span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Référence : webmd.com, </span></i><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/migraines-headaches-migraines#1</span></i><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">  consulted on july 4</span></i><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">th</span></i><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">,2019.</span></i>
" >Migraine
[2] 50%
45%
Episodic Migraine 75% 20%
Chronic Migraine 50% 40%
Chronic Migraine 75% 20%

All CGRP antibodies demonstrated effectiveness to prevent migraine. Like any other drug for migraine, nobody can guess who will respond to a drug or not.

Could I get better with Ajovy if I failed another CGRP antibody (Aimovig or Emgality?)

We do not have a lot of information to answer this important question. According to a serie of real life cases in Chicago, patients switching from one antibody to the other may respond. People who were responders but switch for financial reasons fare better, but patients switching because one CGRP MAB did not work could also get better with another CGRP MAB.

What are the side effects of Ajovy?

Skin reactions at the injection site are common (5 to 30%) and include redness, pain and swelling, but they are usually mild. Less than 1% lead to stopping the drug. Side effects [3] like constipation and muscle pain observed with other antibodies have not been described in the studies on Ajovy. This being said, the experience is building in real-life.

Can Ajovy be used for a child or teenager?

No. All CGRP antibodies are for patients 18 years old and more. Studies in children and teens are underway.

These are exciting times for people with migraine as new drugs become available.

Every option has value and potential to increase quality of life.