Sponsored: How a Preventive Treatment for Migraine has Worked for Me

Aimovig, a prescription for migraine

I don’t often write about medications. It’s tricky and personal for me. Over the years, I have taken medication after medication to treat my migraine. What I have learned is that people can respond differently to medications. I have taken medications that never worked for me. Then I have taken medications that worked at first but were no longer effective later on.

People may react to medications differently and should discuss their options and medical history with their healthcare provider (HCP) in order to make the best decision for themselves.

Preparing to take a new medication

When Aimovig® (erenumab-aooe) – a prescription medicine used for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults – first came out, it was exciting and I was intrigued! When Aimovig was approved in 2018, it became the first FDA-approved medication that can block the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) pathway, which plays a very important role in migraine.1,2 It was a big step in the migraine treatment landscape.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not use Aimovig® if you are allergic to erenumab-aooe or any ingredients in Aimovig®. Please see additional Important Safety Information below.

Before talking to my doctor, I did some research online to understand new medication approvals and studies. I personally find it interesting to follow other people’s migraine treatment journeys. I encourage everyone to consult their doctor when making decisions around medication.

Once I felt ready for a new medication, I talked to my doctor and started Aimovig.

My first injection was done in the doctor’s office, however, I know this may not be everyone’s experience. I was taught the different locations that are acceptable to inject the medication and how to give it to myself. Personally, I’m not a big fan of giving myself injections, so my husband also learned how to help me administer my injections at home.

After years of taking different medications, I have learned to be cautiously optimistic. My goal with Aimovig was to decrease the frequency of my migraine days. I wanted to take steps towards fewer days missed due to migraine. Not a miracle, just help.

Starting Aimovig

I started at 70 mg and moved up to 140 mg after several months. After talking to my doctor, we decided that was the right thing for me. The ease in getting this medication was refreshing and if I have questions I can call Aimovig AllyTM (1-833-AIMOVIG).

As far as side effects go, there was a period where I experienced constipation, thinning hair, and a few other aspects that I brought up to my neurologist. While living with the neurological disease for decades, I have often found it is hard to figure outside effects vs. symptoms and other factors while understanding what is helping or hurting me. I did the best I could to tune into what my body and brain were telling me. Over time, more or different side effects can arise and should be reported to the FDA accordingly.1

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Aimovig® may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Allergic reactions. Allergic reactions, including rash or swelling, can happen after receiving Aimovig®. This can happen within hours to days after using Aimovig®. Call your HCP or get emergency medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction: swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat, or trouble breathing.
  • Constipation with serious complications. Severe constipation can happen after receiving Aimovig®. In some cases, people have been hospitalized or needed surgery. Contact your HCP if you have severe constipation. Please see additional Important Safety Information below.
  • High blood pressure. High blood pressure or worsening of high blood
    pressure can happen after receiving Aimovig®. Contact your healthcare
    provider if you have an increase in blood pressure.

Please see additional Important Safety Information below.

Aimovig, a prescription for migraine
Results

My neurologist has suggested that I track side effects, triggers, and symptoms with my migraine. I have done this on and off for years with previous medications! I find it to be informative at points and defeating at other times. Seeing the lack of improvement in the number of my migraine days and how it all affects me can be frustrating.

While understanding the need for data, I assess my results differently. I base how a medication is working according to the number of migraine days I’m experiencing.

• After taking Aimovig my mornings were much less affected by migraine symptoms.
• My co-worker noticed that I was missing fewer days.
• In the last year, I was able to cancel fewer plans and enjoy more nights out.
• I was able to spend fewer hours in my darkroom.
• Overall, I feel that I’m able to be there more and enjoy spending time with my friends and loved ones now that I have reduced monthly migraine days.

After a year, I feel that this medication has helped and I have noticed a reduction in my monthly migraine days. Of course, everyone may experience different results but it is exciting to have more options so patients can determine what works best for them.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

The most common side effects of Aimovig® are pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site and constipation. Please see additional Important Safety Information below.

Conclusion

When starting a new medication, I like to keep a few things in mind.
• I get a baseline of my everyday life and take note of how I feel before I begin.
• I make myself knowledgeable about the medication I will be taking. I read the manual on how to administer the medication so I’m aware of potential side effects and discuss all questions and concerns with my doctor.
• I chart or take note of changes. I’m sure to remain aware of how the medication is making me feel in small and big ways. For me, sometimes even small changes can create big differences.

While I wish there was a cure for migraine, at this point, one does not exist. But now there are more options to help patients with migraine. Each one should be researched, questioned and taken with caution if prescribed. Good luck on your journey with medications as we all continue down our own paths.

*This post is part of a collaboration between myself, Amgen and Novartis. I have been compensated for my time.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Who should not use Aimovig®?

Do not use Aimovig® if you are allergic to erenumab-aooe or any ingredients in Aimovig®.

Before starting Aimovig®, tell your healthcare provider (HCP) about all your medical conditions, including if you are allergic to rubber or latex, pregnant or plan to become pregnant, breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Tell your HCP about all the medicines you take, including any prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

What are the possible side effects of Aimovig®?

Aimovig® may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Allergic reactions. Allergic reactions, including rash or swelling, can happen after receiving Aimovig®. This can happen within hours to days after using Aimovig®. Call your HCP or get emergency medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction: swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat, or trouble breathing.
  • Constipation with serious complications. Severe constipation can happen after receiving Aimovig®. In some cases, people have been hospitalized or needed surgery. Contact your HCP if you have severe constipation. The most common side effects of Aimovig® are pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site and constipation.
  • High blood pressure. High blood pressure or worsening of high blood
    pressure can happen after receiving Aimovig®. Contact your healthcare
    provider if you have an increase in blood pressure.

The most common side effects of Aimovig® are pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site and constipation.

These are not all of the possible side effects of Aimovig®. Call your HCP for medical advice about side effects.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see accompanying Aimovig® full Prescribing Information, including Patient Product Information.

References:
1. Aimovig® (erenumab-aooe) prescribing information, Amgen, April 2020.
2. Olesen J, Diener HS, Hasstedt I, et al. Calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonist BIBN 4096 BS for the acute treatment of migraine. N Engl J Med. 2004;350(11):1104-10.

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Sarah Rathsack

I tell stories of My Migraine Life. Living life through Migraine consists of advocacy, treatment, prevention, and searching for health and happiness in a positive honest way. My kids, husband, dog, family and friends motivate me to make a difference in the Migraine World.

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