Injectable migraine treatment approved in Australia

Tuesday, 04 September, 2018

Injectable migraine treatment approved in Australia

Aimovig — the first in a new class of long-acting, injectable medications for the prevention of migraine in adults — has been approved for use in Australia.

Migraine is estimated to affect up to 15% of the population, making it more common than diabetes, asthma or coronary heart disease. Symptoms include a debilitating headache that can be moderately to severely painful, often pulsating and on one side of the head, and is often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and light or sound sensitivity.

Aimovig is a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor blocker. CGRP is a neurotransmitter associated with the development of migraine, with CGRP levels shown to increase significantly during a migraine and return to normal with migraine relief. Aimovig works by specifically blocking the activity of the CGRP molecule.

Aimovig is self-administered as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection of 70 mg once every four weeks via a pre-filled pen. A 140 mg dose every four weeks may also be prescribed. Before taking the medication, patients should inform their doctor of any problems with their kidneys or liver, as well as allergies to latex, which is contained within the cap of the pen.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia recognises the need to provide new medicines for people with migraine and welcomes Aimovig’s entry into the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). The company looks forward to working with government to support appropriate patient access via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

“Treatments that offer a new approach to managing and preventing migraine are important,” said Professor Tissa Wijeratne from the World Federation of Neurology.

“The potential to prevent a migraine through this approach is a welcome addition to the treatment options we have available.”

Image credit: © Rinder

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