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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Feb 2020 - 7 Feb 2020

Pharmacology/Drug Development


2020 08

Ann Pharmacother



Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Antagonists for the Prevention of Migraine: Highlights From Pivotal Studies and the Clinical Relevance of This New Drug Class.


To review the new drug class of calcitonin gene-related peptide antagonists (monoclonal antibodies) and their clinical relevance in migraine prophylaxis. A literature search was performed in PubMed (January 2009 to November 2019) using the terms (CGRP), , and for clinical trials and studies. Reports from human studies in English were evaluated for clinical evidence supporting pharmacology, efficacy, and adverse events. Initial pharmacokinetic and preclinical studies were excluded. In chronic and episodic migraine, prophylaxis with injections of monoclonal antibodies antagonizing CGRP reduced monthly migraine days with minimal clinically significant adverse events. In addition, there is evidence supporting efficacy in refractory migraine despite optimal prophylaxis. This is the first target-specific migraine prophylaxis treatment to show efficacy with minimal adverse effects. A higher drug cost is a barrier but is balanced by improved quality of life. Current therapies have limited efficacy and tolerability because of poor side effect profiles. CGRP antagonists represent a shift to more precise migraine treatments. Monoclonal antibodies inhibiting CGRP are effective in migraine prophylaxis with minimal adverse effects. Targeting CGRP is a novel clinical strategy in managing migraine.