A hand reaching into a medication bag from a pharmacy.

Tips for Timing Your CGRP Medicines

CGRP medicines are a brand new type of migraine drug that’s on the market. The three that are out—Aimovig, Emgality, and Ajovy—are all administered as monthly injections. I’m about to take my third dose of Emgality. Through my own experiences, and talking with others in our forums and online, I’ve thought of and heard of a few tricks for finding your best timing of when to take the medicine.

It’s important to mention that when deciding anything about when or how you take a medicine, you should always consult with your doctor first. These are new medicines and we are still learning about them, and so it’s really important to follow your doctor’s guidelines.

Consider waiting to take the first dose

Depending on how desperate you are to try the medication, this one may or may not jive with you, and that’s fine. From the migraine community, however, I’ve learned that it’s not that uncommon to wait to take the first dose as many of us are new to self-injecting. We also may be nervous to try a new medication without knowing what the side effects could be. I was in the latter category. I waited a full week from when I filled my first dose of Emgality till when I administered it—but now I’m really glad I had.

There was a hiccup in getting coverage under the Emgality savings plan and my third dose was filled late. Since I didn’t need it on the fill date it still worked out that I didn’t have to take my medicine late. So to avoid any delays in getting your dose from insurance or paperwork hiccups, you may consider holding off—if your doctor agrees—so that potential delays won’t affect your dosing schedule.

Consider special events

Since it’s a medication you take every 28 days it’s easy to look ahead and see if you will need to take your next dose on a day you’re traveling or attending an important event. Also, some people in the Emgality support group I’m in have mentioned that the medicine wears off towards the end. If you are one of those people, you can try to time it so that you’ll be taking your medicine before the event. You can always ask your doctor if it’s ok to switch up the days.

Consider menstrual migraines

Again, some people have mentioned that their medicine wears off towards the end of the month. If your cycle is regular and predictable, and you also deal with menstrual migraines, you might want to time it so that your not due to get your period at the end of the 28 days. I (accidentally) scheduled it so I get my period right in the middle of my one month doses. This is helpful because it has not worn off for me at that point. I only had one menstrual migraine last month!

Time it right for side effects

So far I haven’t had any significant side effects but I thought I’d pass along something I’d heard in a support group. A woman who takes one of the CGRP medicines usually experiences fatigue for the first few days, so she always takes her medicine on Fridays so she can have the weekend to rest. This is something to consider if you also experience side effects. Again, if you need to alter your dosing schedule to make this happen, it’s best to discuss it with your doctor beforehand.

Did I miss anything?

I’d love to hear if you have any thoughts/tips/insights on timing your CGRP meds to be as effective and convenient as possible. Leave us a comment below!

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