Erenumab is a monoclonal antibody, targeted against the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor. Clinical studies have demonstrated prophylactic efficacy in both episodic (EM) and chronic migraine (CM). The aim of the present study is to evaluate the efficacy of treatment in tertiary headache centers under real-life conditions. In a retrospective analysis, the period of 3 months before and after initiation of erenumab therapy was compared. Relevant parameters (headache days, headache intensity, headache duration, acute medication, previous prophylaxis treatments) were collected from medical charts of all migraine patients (N = 82) who started treatment with erenumab between November 1st 2018 and May 1st 2019 at two tertiary headache centers in Germany. The sample included 68 female (82.9%) and 14 male patients aged between 22 and 78 years (mean 51.1 years, SD 10.5 years). Of these patients, 57.3% met the criteria for CM and 56.9% overused acute medication. Under therapy with erenumab, a significant reduction of headache days was observed from the first month on. The effect was most pronounced in the third month with a decrease in monthly headache days from 16.6 to 11.6 days (p < 0.001). There was also a significant reduction in reported headache intensity (p = 0.004) and average duration of headache attacks (p = 0.016). The 50% responder rate in patients with CM was lower in the first month compared to EM but then increased similarly to EM. Patients with medication overuse (MO) also responded to the therapy. There was a reduction in medication overuse from 57% at baseline to 29% after therapy (p = 0.011). Overall, a positive result of treatment with erenumab can be shown in a highly selected sample with severely affected migraine patients and a refractory course prior to treatment. This re-confirms the clinical trial data also for this highly selected group.
© 2021. The Author(s).