Drug profile: galcanezumab for prevention of cluster headache

Dharani Mudugal, Teshamae S. Monteith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Cluster headache [CH] is a severely disabling trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia [TAC]. Approximately 1 in 1,000 adults are affected by CH. Calcitonin gene-related peptide [CGRP] is an important mediator in the pathophysiology of CH. Galcanezumab is a monoclonal antibody with an affinity for the CGRP peptide, FDA approved for the prevention of episodic CH. Areas covered: Search words queried were ‘cluster headache,’ ‘cluster headache, and CGRP,’ ‘cluster headache, and galcanezumab.’ Over 99 articles in Pubmed and prescribing information for galcanezumab were reviewed. Some of the data pertaining to CH trials with fremanezumab were reviewed using clinical trials.org. Expert opinion: Galcanezumab has shown benefit in decreasing the weekly frequency of CH attacks across week 1 through week 3 in patients with CH; 8.7 attacks in the galcanezumab group, as compared with 5.2 in the placebo group (95% confidence interval, 0.2 to 6.7; P = 0.04). It has a favorable risk-benefit ratio. The prevention of CH with CGRP inhibition represents a novel advance for a condition with a significant unmet need. The negative trial results of galcanezumab for chronic cluster headache [CCH] may be due to the refractory nature and sheds light on the critical need to investigate the underlying biology and therapeutic options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalExpert review of neurotherapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cluster headache
  • LY2951742
  • antibody
  • calcitonin gene-related peptide
  • chronic cluster headache
  • galcanezumab
  • immunomodulation
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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