The introduction of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against calcitonin-gene related peptide (CGRP) or CGRP receptors in the treatment of migraine raised concerns on the possible risks associated to the long-term inhibition of CGRP physiological functions. In this proof-of-concept study, we have measured the circulating levels of CGRP in 7 patients with high-frequency episodic migraine receiving the anti-CGRP receptor mAb erenumab for at least 6 months, to test the hypothesis that long-term blockade of CGRP receptors induces an increase in systemic CGRP levels via a classical up-regulation mechanism. Plasma CGRP levels were measured by a validated radioimmunoassay at baseline, and after 1 and 6 months of treatment with erenumab, 70 mg given sc every 4 weeks. We found (data expressed as the means ± SD): 38.34 ± 30.74 pg CGRP/ml of plasma at baseline, 38.19 ± 29.23 pg/ml after 1 month and 53.89 ± 28.03 pg/ml after 6 months of treatment. Thus, the average increase in plasma CGRP levels after 6 months of treatment was about + 40% compared to both baseline and 1-month treatments; such difference was not statistically significant because of high SD values in all groups. These preliminary findings need to be confirmed in larger, sufficiently powered experiments.
- Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
- CGRP receptor
- Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
- Monoclonal antibodies
- Receptors, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide