The injectable CGRP mAB’s including Aimovig, Ajovy, and Emgality should be stopped 5-6 months before trying to get pregnant. All have a long half-life ranging from 27-31 days and complete elimination of any medication is 5 half-lives. Until we have more data about using this category of treatment during pregnancy, it is advisable to have complete elimination before trying to conceive.
Vyepti is a recently approved medication approved for the prevention of migraine in adults. It targets CGRP so works it similar to Aimovig, Ajovy and Emgality. However, it is given IV every 3 months instead of being an injectable. Key features include quick onset of action; in fact, some individuals may experience their migraine headache go away during the 30-minute infusion time frame. Vyepti requires approval by the insurance company before it can be initiated. If interested, please schedule a visit.
In any individual patient, the risk of a medication needs to be weighed against the benefits and this is especially true in pregnancy. Fortunately, most women note migraine improvement during pregnancy and can stop getting Botox. For those in whom migraines continue to be disabling, a clinical decision can be made between the provider and pregnant patient. Fortunately, a published study in 2016 looked at 232 outcomes in women receiving Botox during pregnancy. This review showed the prevalence of fetal defects (2.7%) comparable to the rate in the general population for pregnancy in the US. More recently, an additional number of cases was been reviewed bringing the total up to 397 and this shows the prevalence of fetal defects to be 2.6% once again comparable to the general population for pregnancy. In general, it is wise to avoid as much medication as possible during pregnancy. However, in some select cases, the disability of frequent migraine attacks in a pregnant woman may warrant consideration of Botox treatment to prevent migraine.
I advise you come in for an office visit prior to getting pregnant to review your current medications. There may be some like Topamax (Topiramate) that you should wean off prior to getting pregnant. Others like Sumatriptan, Ibuprofen, and Zofran are OK to take while trying to get pregnant but need careful consideration once pregnant. Safe options during pregnancy include Tylenol, caffeine in moderation, Diclegis for nausea, Sumatriptan in moderation, and the 3 neurostimulators including the Cefaly device, SpringTMS, and GammaCore. For rescue of a severe migraine during pregnancy, we can do an occipital nerve block in the office with Bupivacaine, a topical anesthetic. In a few cases, our office has injected Botox for pregnant women with refractory migraines. Fortunately, the majority of women experience improvement in their migraines during pregnancy.