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Study: How Effective Is Erenumab in Preventing Migraine?

Medically reviewed by Susan Kerrigan, MD and Marianne Madsen on February 4, 2023

Erenumab has been available in the United States since its approval by the Food & Drug Administration in May of 2018. A recently published research study has found that the drug is, in fact, helpful in treating headaches and migraine in patients by blocking a certain protein in the body. 


The study, which gathered real-world data from 542 patient charts from 45 headache centers in Germany, found that a three-month treatment with the drug erenumab reduced the number of days patients experienced monthly headaches, migraine, and acute medication days. The study was published in The Journal of Headache and Pain on Nov. 6, 2021, and the research was conducted over six months, from July to December of 2019.


Researchers also found that headache intensity and frequency were reduced in more than 75% of patients and accompanying aura was reduced in 35% of patients. Physicians indicated that, in their professional judgement, 83% of patients responded to erenumab and 80% of the patients were satisfied with the results of the drug.


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Migraine - Overview

Migraine - Overview

The physicians evaluated several factors to determine the impacts of erenumab, including how much headache and migraine reduced quality of life, the number of monthly days of migraine, and prophylactic treatments. Based on the physicians’ assessment, erenumab reduced the migraine symptoms in 65% of their patients and increased their quality of life in more than 75% of their patients. 


The study concluded that erenumab is an effective monoclonal antibody treatment for migraine patients, particularly those who have failed several prophylactic therapies.


Study Methods


The study consisted of two parts: physicians reporting on the patients they were treating, and then physicians conducting a retrospective chart review for at least 10 but not more than 30 of their patients who had been on erenumab for at least three months. 


A 24-item questionnaire, which was developed with input from a steering committee that consisted of medical and scientific experts in the neurology and migraines, was given to the physicians, who were asked to respond and provide supporting evidence from their patients’ charts. Nine of the questions focused on the physicians, their practices, and the treatment’s effect on their patients. The remaining 15 questions centered on the retrospective chart review.


Written by Sheena McFarland

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