On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug designed to prevent chronic migraine headaches. Aimovig, made by Amgen and Novartis, is a monthly, self-administered injection that blocks a molecule involved in migraine attacks. Over the course of three clinical trials, the drug was successful at reducing the frequency of migraines for chronic sufferers. It is expected to be available in as soon as a week and will cost $575 per month, though out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on insurance.
This is the story of Susan Giordano, 58, whose chronic migraines have nearly ceased after taking a monthly shot of Aimovig in a multi-year clinical trial.
My migraines started slow: They were infrequent but very severe in my late 20s and early 30s. After I had chemotherapy and radiation for colon cancer treatment, they became so much more severe. The radiation therapy put me into early menopause. At that point, they became so frequent that I was taking about 12 migraine abortive pills every month.