Emgality (galcanezumab) is a medication that stops migraine headaches and treats cluster headaches. It works by blocking a substance called calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP.
The medicine comes in a prefilled pen or syringe and is injected under the skin once a month. It is a monoclonal antibody that targets CGRP.
Prevents migraine headaches
Emgality works by blocking the activity of a naturally occurring substance in your body called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Increased levels of CGRP have been linked to migraine headaches.
Taking a preventive drug such as Emgality can reduce the number of migraine days you have by 50-75 percent after a few months of treatment. It also may reduce the intensity of your migraines, the amount of acute pain medicine you take, and improve your daily functioning and health-related quality of life.
The medication comes as a prefilled pen or syringe you will use to give yourself a monthly injection. It can be used to treat both chronic and episodic migraine headaches, and episodic cluster headaches.
Side effects of the medication include injection site reactions such as red skin, pain, or swelling that usually go away within a few days or weeks. More serious side effects include allergic reactions that are rare but can cause serious problems.
Treats cluster headaches
Emgality benefits treat cluster headaches by blocking the activity of a protein in your body called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). This protein has been linked with inflammation and vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) in the brain.
The drug works by preventing the CGRP protein from binding to its receptor. CGRP is thought to play an important role in triggering migraine and cluster headaches.
Your doctor may prescribe Emgality or a similar medication for you to prevent migraine and cluster headaches. These drugs are part of a new class of medicines that block CGRP.
Another medication that your doctor may prescribe to prevent cluster headaches is sumatriptan (Imitrex). This drug works by blocking the activity of a protein called calcitonin gene-related polypeptide (CRP).
This medication is given as monthly subcutaneous injections. You can give yourself the shots at home or have a caregiver or family member do them for you. It is important to clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol before each dose.
Prevents recurrence of migraine headaches
Taking preventive medication to reduce the frequency of migraine headaches is a great way to help you manage your condition. But, it can be challenging to find a medication that works well for you and doesn’t have side effects.
Many people with migraine need to try several different medications before they find a treatment that helps them prevent their headaches. Some of these drugs are simple pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, but others work by targeting the processes that cause migraine attacks.
CGRP blockers like Emgality, Aimovig (erenumab), Ajovy (fremanezumab-vfrm), and Vyepti were developed specifically to prevent migraine attacks. They work by blocking the activity of a protein called calcitonin gene-related peptide.
Treats recurrent cluster headaches
In addition to medication, people with cluster headaches also may benefit from behavioral treatments that can reduce symptoms and help manage pain. These include stress management, cognitive-behavioral therapy and relaxation techniques.
For a person with episodic cluster headaches, a treatment called Emgality (galcanezumab) can be an effective option to help prevent cluster attacks and to treat them when they occur. The drug is a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonist, which means that it blocks CGRPs from binding to their receptors in the brain.
It is a monoclonal antibody that binds to the CGRP receptors, so it can’t activate them and cause the swelling of blood vessels in your brain that trigger migraines or cluster headaches.
It is available in 120 mg autoinjector pens and prefilled syringes for migraine prevention. It is injected monthly to prevent migraine and for cluster headaches.