If you have migraine, your doctor might suggest Ajovy (fremanezumab-vfrm) as a treatment option. It’s a prescription medication used to help prevent migraine episodes in adults.
Ajovy comes as a liquid solution in prefilled autoinjector pens and prefilled syringes. Ajovy is given as an injection (shot) under your skin.
Ajovy is a biologic drug, which means that it’s made from parts of living organisms. Ajovy isn’t available as a biosimilar. (Biosimilars are like generic drugs. But unlike generics, which are made for non-biologic drugs, biosimilars are made for biologics.)
This drug may be used as a long-term treatment. For more information about Ajovy, see this in-depth article.
Like other drugs, Ajovy injections can cause mild or serious side effects. Keep reading to learn more.
Some people may experience mild or serious side effects during their Ajovy treatment. Injection site reactions were the most commonly reported side effect.
To learn more, see the “Side effects explained” section below.
Ajovy may cause mild side effects, such as injection site reactions. To learn more, see the “Side effects explained” section below.
In most cases, these side effects are temporary, and some are easily managed. But if you have any symptoms that are ongoing or bother you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And don’t stop using Ajovy unless your doctor recommends it.
Ajovy may cause mild side effects other than those mentioned above. See the Ajovy prescribing information for details.
Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Ajovy, visit MedWatch.
It isn’t common to have serious side effects of Ajovy. In fact, the only serious side effect that has been reported is an allergic reaction. To learn more about this, see the “Side effects explained” section below.
If you develop serious side effects while using Ajovy, call your doctor right away. If they seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Ajovy’s side effects.
Are there reviews or testimonials available from people who’ve used Ajovy?
Yes, the manufacturer of Ajovy has stories on its website from people who’ve used the drug. These may mention side effects that the people experienced.
Keep in mind that everyone’s body responds differently to medications. Someone else’s experience of a particular treatment may not reflect how your body will respond to it.
For more information about what to expect from Ajovy treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Is hair loss a possible side effect of Ajovy?
It’s not likely. Hair loss wasn’t a side effect reported in studies of Ajovy. But stress can trigger a migraine episode for some people. And stress can lead to hair loss.
So it’s possible that you may have hair loss related to stress or migraine while using Ajovy. But these side effects may not be caused by the drug itself.
Hair loss is a common side effect of other drugs used to help prevent migraine headaches. An example is Topamax (topiramate).
If you have hair loss or are concerned about having it during Ajovy treatment, talk with your doctor. They can help determine the cause.
Are depression or joint pain side effects of Ajovy?
No, depression and joint pain weren’t side effects reported in studies of Ajovy. But depression can be related to migraine itself. And fatigue (low energy) is also a possible symptom of migraine. Plus, when you’re fatigued, you may experience joint pain.
So if you feel depressed or have joint pain during Ajovy treatment, these may not be caused by the drug.
In rare cases, other medications used to help prevent migraine attacks can cause mood changes, such as depression. Topamax, for example, may cause mood changes.
If you have depression or bothersome joint pain while using Ajovy, talk with your doctor. They can help determine if Ajovy is working well for you. They can also help create a plan for monitoring other symptoms.
Could I experience withdrawal symptoms if I stop my Ajovy treatment?
No, it isn’t likely. Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that may happen when you stop taking a drug that your body has become dependent on. But withdrawal wasn’t a side effect reported in studies of Ajovy.
Even though withdrawal side effects aren’t likely, it’s important to talk with your doctor before you stop using Ajovy. They’ll let you know if it’s safe to stop the treatment.
Does Ajovy cause any digestive side effects, such as constipation or nausea?
It’s not likely. Digestive side effects weren’t reported in studies of Ajovy.
But other drugs used to help prevent migraine are known to cause digestive side effects. For example, constipation is a common side effect of Aimovig (erenumab-aooe). And nausea is a common side effect of Topamax.
If you have digestive symptoms while using Ajovy, talk with your doctor. They can help determine the cause of your symptoms and suggest ways to ease them.
Learn more about some of the side effects that Ajovy may cause.
Injection site reactions
Injection site reactions are the most common side effect of Ajovy. These are reactions that happen around the area where you inject Ajovy, and they include:
- thickening or hardening of the skin
- redness or discoloration
What might help
There are a few ways to reduce your risk of injection site reactions to Ajovy.
Don’t inject Ajovy into an area of skin that’s already red, discolored, tender, or bruised. Avoid giving yourself injections into an injured area until after it’s healed.
You should inject each dose of Ajovy into a new area of skin. Ajovy injections can be given into your belly, thighs, or upper arms.
If you need multiple injections per dose, you can inject them all into the same area of your body. But choose a spot at least one finger-width away from your last injection site.
If you have injection site reactions while using Ajovy, talk with your doctor. They can recommend other ways to help ease your symptoms.
Like most drugs, Ajovy can cause an allergic reaction in some people. The symptoms can be mild or serious and include:
- skin rash
- flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
What might help
If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest an over-the-counter oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Or they may recommend a topical product, such as hydrocortisone cream, to help manage your symptoms.
If your doctor confirms that you had a mild allergic reaction to Ajovy, they’ll decide if you should continue using it.
If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.
If your doctor confirms that you had a serious allergic reaction to Ajovy, they may have you switch to a different treatment.
Keeping track of side effects
During your Ajovy treatment, consider keeping notes about any side effects you’re having. You can then share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start taking new drugs or using a combination of treatments.
Your side effect notes can include things such as:
- what dosage of the drug you were taking when you had the side effect
- how soon after starting that dosage you experienced it
- what your symptoms were
- how they affected your daily activities
- any other medications you were taking
- any other information you feel is important
Taking notes and sharing them with your doctor will help them learn more about how Ajovy affects you. They can then use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.
Ajovy may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Talk with your doctor about your health history before you start using Ajovy. Below are factors to consider.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Ajovy or any of its ingredients, your doctor probably won’t prescribe it. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.
Alcohol use and Ajovy
There aren’t any known safety issues with drinking alcohol while you’re using Ajovy. But drinking alcohol can trigger a migraine episode for some people. If alcohol is a migraine trigger for you, you may want to avoid it while using Ajovy.
If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about the amount that’s safe for you during your Ajovy treatment.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding while using Ajovy
It’s not known if Ajovy is safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or planning for either, talk with your doctor before starting Ajovy treatment. They can discuss the risks and benefits of using this medication during these times.
If you use Ajovy while pregnant, consider enrolling in a pregnancy registry. Pregnancy registries collect information about what happens when a drug is used during pregnancy. This helps researchers better understand the risks of using the drug while pregnant.
To enroll in Ajovy’s pregnancy registry, talk with your doctor. You can also visit the registry’s site or call 833-927-2605.
Ajovy may help prevent migraine episodes from happening. Some people have mild side effects of this medication, such as injection site reactions. But more serious side effects of Ajovy are possible, including an allergic reaction.
If you have questions about the side effects of Ajovy, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask to help determine if the treatment is right for you:
- Do any medical conditions I have increase my risk of side effects from Ajovy?
- How do the side effects of Ajovy compare with those of other drugs used to help prevent migraine episodes?
- What are a few ways to reduce injection site reactions that I might have?
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I’ve heard that certain migraine prevention drugs can cause changes in the way things taste. Are issues with taste a side effect of Ajovy?Anonymous
It’s true that some medications used to prevent migraine can cause changes in how things taste. For example, changes in taste was a common side effect in people who took Topamax in studies. But this side effect wasn’t reported by people using Ajovy in studies.
Note that changes in taste can be part of the aura phase of a migraine episode for some people. An aura is a set of symptoms that can occur just before a migraine attack. Some include:
- changes in taste
- visual disturbances, such as seeing:
- zig-zagging lines
- flashes of bright light
- speech difficulties
If you have more questions about migraine prevention drugs and their side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBAAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.