Ajovy: Uses, side effects, and interactions
What is Ajovy?
Ajovy (Fremanezumab) is an injectable drug doctor prescribe for adult migraine headaches. Migraine is a disease in which severe pain occurs on one part of the head for several days, sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to sound and light.
Key facts of Ajovy
- In 2018, The United States Food and Drug Administration approved Ajovy for migraine headaches.
- Ajovy is the brand name of the drug Fremanezumab it is a humanized monoclonal antibody.
- Fremanezumab is produced in Chinese hamster ovary cells by recombinant DNA technology
Category of drug
- Ajovy belongs to a class of drugs known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonists.
- A class of drugs is a collection of medicines that work in a similar pattern.
- Ajovy contains a biologic drug viz; Fremanezumab as the active ingredient
- Calcitonin gene-related peptide(CCRP) is a neuropeptide involved in pain transmission in our body. Neuropeptides are chemical messengers released by nerve cells.
- CCRP binds with receptors (molecules) in the brain’s wall and causes the widening of the blood vessels causing pain and swelling that ultimately leads to migraine headaches.
- Ajovy attaches to CCRP preventing connecting to receptors in the brain’s walls and controlling blood vessel dilation and inflammation. Ajovy thus prevents migraine headaches
Dosage of Ajovy
The commonly used dosage for Ajovy are as follows
- Single Ajovy injection of 225 mg(milligram) once in 30 days on the same day
- Three Ajovy injections of a total of 675mg once every 90 days on the same day
However, taking the dose as the doctor prescribes is always advisable
Formulations of Ajovy
- Ajovy comes as a liquid solution in disposable single-use prefilled syringes. It is also available as an auto-injector pen.
- Ajovy is available in one power or strength of 225 milligrams in 1.5 milliliters of liquid solution.
How to take an Ajovy injection?
- Ajovy is administered under the skin by doctors or health care professionals in either of the three areas viz; belly, back of the upper arms, and in front of the thighs. It might be administered as a single injection of 225mg once every month or as three injections of 675mg once every three months.
- However, one can also take the injections themselves after proper training from health professionals. Also, each syringe is for single use and must be immediately discarded
Time required for Ajovy to function
- It may take weeks to several months to get the full effect of migraine treatment.
- In clinical studies, people taking the first dose of Ajovy experienced fewer migraine attacks within one month.
- While for people on several months of Ajovy treatment, the number of migraine days within the month decreased further.
Time Ajovy stays in the body
- Staying of any drug in the body depends on the half-life of the drug.
- The drug’s half-life is when the body must clear half the drug dose.
- Ajovy’s half-life is 31 days, so it remains in the body for 31 days.
Cost of Ajovy
- The cost of Ajovy depends on the treatment plan, geographic location, the health store in use, and insurance coverage .
Uses of Ajovy
- Ajovy is indicated to treat migraine headaches in adult individuals
- Ajovy is a long-term treatment and can be used for both episodic and chronic migraine headaches.
- Episodic migraine headaches are headaches fewer than 15 days per month and chronic migraine headaches are headaches for more than 15 days per month
Improves migraine symptoms
A migraine headache is a severe headache that worsens with physical activity and may last from two to three days. It has several symptoms, which can be improved by Ajovy, such as
- Extreme tiredness
- Difficulty in speaking
- Vision problem
- Extreme sensitivity to bright light
- Extreme sensitivity to sound
Side effects of Ajovy
Mild injection site side effects
- Tenderness of the injected site
- Skin rash
- Hardened skin
The injected site side effects are temporary and may disappear within some days or weeks. It is best to consult a physician if the side effects persist.
Serious side effects
Some people might experience a severe allergic reaction after taking an Ajovy injection. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction are:
- Swelling in the mouth, throat, and tongue
- Swelling under the skin, such as lips, hands, feet, and eyelids
- Difficult breathing
It is always recommended to dial the emergency medical number in case of severe allergies
Overdose toxicity of Ajovy
- Overdose of Ajova might cause serious side effects such as difficulty breathing or collapse(fainting).
- One must immediately contact the emergency medical number in case of experiencing such symptoms.
Warnings for Ajovy
- It is always necessary to consult the patient’s health conditions and the medicines already in use with the doctor before taking an Ajova injection.
- Ajova is strictly prohibited for individuals with a history of severe hypersensitivity(allergic) reactions to Ajova or its ingredients.
Who should not take Ajovy
- Aged people(above 65 years of age)
- Pregnant woman
- Nursing mothers
- People with heart diseases
- People with stroke(blood vessel in the brain ruptures)
- People with a blood clot
- People with allergic reactions to the drug
Precautions while injecting Ajovy
One must strictly follow the instructions mentioned in Ajovy’s label sheet
Before injecting, one must ensure the following things
- Ajovy must be brought to room temperature after taking out from the freeze
- It must not be injected into tender areas, tattoos, scars, or stretch marks
- It must not be injected in the same spots used previously to inject other medication
After injecting, one must ensure the following
- The injected site must be pressed gently with a clean cotton ball for a few seconds
- One must not rub the injected site
- An ice pack on the affected area might help if the injected site feels uncomfortable.
- Any reaction that lasts for several days must be immediately intimated to a healthcare professional
Interaction of Ajovy
- To date, Ajovy has not been shown to interact with other drugs. But there is always a possibility that interactions might occur.
- So, it is best to consult a doctor about the medicines, supplements, over-the-counter medicines, and vitamins one consumes before taking Ajovy treatment
Storage of Ajovy
- Ajovy must be stored in a refrigerator between temperatures 2 to 8 degrees centigrade.
- If required, one might keep it in the original carton for seven days at room temperature.
- After removal from the freeze, one must use it within seven days or discard
- Once removed from the freeze, one must not keep it back
- One must not shake it
- Don not keep it in direct sunlight
- Discard the unused medicine after the expiry date
- One must keep it out of reach of children and young kids
- Ajovy is an FDA-approved medicine for migraine treatment
- One should always see the expiry date of the injection while purchasing and before taking it subcutaneously
- Once taken out from the refrigerator, Ajovy must be used within one day or discarded
- To know the correct dose and prevent untoward incidents, one must consult a registered physician before taking an Ajovy injection