For people who suffer from chronic migraines, Aimovig can be a true savor. Migraines create a barrier in everyday interactions, both in personal and professional life. They make every task seem difficult with the constant struggle of pain. If you suffer from intense migraines and you’ve tried all possible treatments, fear not because there is still hope for you. With migraines considered one of the most frequent diseases and 1 out of 7 people suffering from it, you’re definitely not alone!
You might be one of the many migraine sufferers who have been prescribed Aimovig. And like most of them, you might be a bit lost when it comes to the storage and refrigeration of your medication. Let’s talk about it and answer that real question: How long can Aimovig be left out of the fridge without deteriorating?
What is Aimovig?
Aimovig is a brand name used to describe erenumab, a monoclonal antibody that blocks the effects of the CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) protein involved in migraine attacks. Aimovig is FDA-approved and can be used to treat both episodic and chronic migraines.
It usually comes in the form of prefilled autoinjector pens or syringes, which you can use by yourself once every month. It is administrated with a subcutaneous injection in the stomach, thigh, or upper arm in quantities of 70mg or 140mg for certain patients.
At least 40-50% of people with episodic headaches who have been using Aimovig for 6 months have seen their migraines cut at half. Similarly, 40% of people with chronic migraines noticed a significant reduction in the number of days they were having headaches.
Preventive treatment for migraines
Aimovig is only administrated as a preventive migraine treatment to adults. According to the official prescribing information, people between the ages of 18 to 60 might experience some side effects in a frequency of at least 3%. These include:
- Constipation which might be severe and lead to hospitalization or surgery, especially for patients receiving 140mg of Aimovig.
- Injection site reactions. There might be some redness, swelling, or local pain where the injection was given.
- Allergies, cramps, or muscle spams. There are also reports of high blood pressure within 7 days from the injection. Patients might already have hypertension or risks for hypertension which either appeared or got worsened after the injection.
- Flu-like symptoms or back pain.
To avoid risks, Aimovig should not be administrated to pregnant women or people with hypersensitivity to erenumab. Moreover, it should be administrated to people over 65 years old in lower quantities as it might cause liver, kidney, or heart disease.
There are also similar treatments of FDA-approved drugs under this class to prevent migraines. Those are Avojy, Vyepti, and Emgality. Emgality, in particular, contains galcanezumab, a monoclonal antibody that blocks the activity of CGRP. Similar to Aimovig, it comes in the form of prefilled syringes or pens for under the skin injection. It’s an excellent alternative for people who can’t take other medications for migraines due to side effects or drug interactions.
Related article: 10 Travel Tips for People With Chronic Migraines!
Aimovig is administrated under the skin by you or a caregiver. It’s based on an autoinjector that contains the dose in a spring-loaded syringe. For most patients, that’s an easier option compared to single-use syringes as it causes less stress during the administration.
You can take the injection into your stomach, thigh, or upper arm (if it’s administrated by someone else). First, you’ll need to stretch your skin to create a surface of at least 2 inches, clean it with an alcohol wipe, and place the autoinjector at a 90-degree angle. Then, firmly push the autoinjector down onto your skin and push the button when you’re ready to insert. The injection could take up to 15 seconds. After you remove the autoinjector, the needle will be automatically covered.
To avoid certain pain that comes with the injection, make sure you let the autoinjector out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before the injection. Additionally, place an ice bag for a few minutes on the area where you’re going to have the injection. Avoid injecting skin that’s bruised, red, or rough, and be sure to change the area of skin injected every month. Lastly, you can administrate Aimovig into the butt area, close to the hips, for lesser pain.
How long can Aimovig stay out of the refrigerator?
If you’ve been prescribed Aimovig by your doctor, he or she should have informed you about its specific storage instructions. Aimovig is a temperature-sensitive medicine that must be stored in the fridge. Let’s focus on that point and see what really happens if Aimovig isn’t properly refrigerated.
Aimovig storage recommendations
According to its manufacturers, Aimovig should be stored in the refrigerator at about 36°F - 46°F (2°C - 8°C). If it’s taken out of the refrigerator and reaches room temperature, the autoinjector shouldn’t be stored in the refrigerator again.
It can also sit in room temperature at about 68°F - 77°F (20°C - 25°C). However, once taken out of the refrigerator, it should be injected in the next 7 days. Keep the autoinjector in its original carton and protect it from the sun, heat, and light. Be sure not to freeze it, as freezing temperatures can break the molecule down and erase the effectiveness of the medicine.
Related article: How Long Can Refrigerated Medicines Be Left Out?
What happens if Aimovig is not refrigerated?
As with all medications, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to store and use them properly. Suppose you fail to store the Aimovig autoinjector in the refrigerator. In that case, you’ll have to use it within 7 days after it sits at room temperature, or else you should throw it away in disposal containers as it’s not safe to use anymore and its effectiveness lowers considerably.
You might notice that the autoinjector gets cloudy, discolored, or contains flakes and particles. These are indicators that it has started deteriorating, and it shouldn’t be used. If you’re traveling or need to carry the autoinjector with you, you must protect it from direct sunlight and inappropriate temperatures.
The most efficient way to do that is by storing your autoinjector in a portable medicine cooler. Medicine coolers can keep your Aimovig safe for up to 72 hours without power as if it’s in your fridge. This allows you to take your medication with you without stressing over storage and timing.
How much does Aimovig cost per month?
Aimovig costs around $638.77 per month. However, prices change based on the costs covered by the insurance companies. So usually, patients don’t pay for the full price themselves.
Related article: How Long Can Emgality Stay out of the Fridge?
How long till Aimovig starts working?
Some people start seeing the effects of Aimovig within one month after the first injection. However, it usually takes 2-3 months for most people before noticing a headache relief. Reports indicate a 49% relief after that period for 70mg users and a 70% relief for 140mg users.
Related article: How Long Can Ajovy Be out of the Fridge?
Is weight gain amongst the side effects of Aimovig?
Weight gain or loss is not a side effect of Aimovig, according to clinical studies on people who receive the medication regularly.
Can I use Aimovig autoinjections if I’m allergic to latex?
If you’re allergic to latex or rubber, it would be wiser to avoid Aimovig since the injection devices contain dry rubber, which could cause allergic reactions.