Emgality side effects and how to avoid them

Emgality is a brand-name medication manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company. It is classed as a calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRP) antagonist and is used for the treatment of migraine attacks. While Emgality is generally well tolerated, there are some potential side effects that people should be aware of. The most common side effects of Emgality include injection site reactions. Less common, but more serious side effects, can include serious allergic reactions.

Learn more about the side effects of Emgality and what you can do to avoid them.

What is Emgality (galcanezumab-gnlm)?

Emgality is an FDA-approved monoclonal antibody medication classed as a calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRP) antagonist. By blocking the protein CGRP, it prevents the widening of blood vessels in your brain. Clinical studies show that this helps with migraine prevention and the treatment of the symptoms of a type of headache known as cluster headaches.

Emgality is indicated for the prevention of episodic migraine and chronic migraine headaches, and the treatment of episodic cluster headaches.

Emgality dosage

Emgality is available as a pre-filled syringe and a pre-filled pen with the following strengths:

  • 120mg/ml single-dose pre-filled pen
  • 100mg/ml single-dose pre-filled syringe
  • 120mg/ml single-dose pre-filled syringe

The recommended dose for the preventive treatment of migraines is a 240mg loading dose (2 subcutaneous injections of 120mg) followed by once-monthly doses of 120mg. The recommended dose of Emgality is 300mg (3 subcutaneous injections or 100mg) at the start of the cluster period, then once a month until the cluster period ends.

Use Emgality as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor should show you or your healthcare provider how to use your Pen or pre-filled syringe before your treatment begins.

Inject Emgality under the skin (subcutaneously) in your abdomen, thigh, buttocks, or the back of your upper arm. If you are using Emgality for the prevention of migraine headaches, you will inject it once a month. Your first dose (loading dose) is given as 2 separate injections right after one another. If you are using Emgality for the treatment of episodic cluster headaches, use it at the start of a cluster period and then monthly until the end of the cluster period.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose of Emgality as soon as you remember. Inject your next dose after 1 month to get back on your monthly dosing schedule. Store Emgality away from direct sunlight in the refrigerator. You can store Emgality at room temperature for up to 7 days.

You are advised to read the full prescribing information and the instructions for use. Always speak with your healthcare provider for medical advice about any changes to your dose so they can monitor and evaluate your condition.

Emgality side effects

The most common possible side effects of Emgality in clinical trials compared to placebo include:

  • Injection site reactions such as redness, swelling, and pain
  • Constipation
  • Itching
  • Rashes
  • Vertigo (dizziness)

Emgality can cause more serious side effects, including:

  • Serious hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis (rash, angioedema, hives, and trouble breathing)

If you experience any of these serious allergic reactions, stop taking Emgality and seek medical attention immediately. You are encouraged to report negative adverse reactions to prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Emgality drug interactions

Emgality can also interact with other medications. This can change how Emgality and the other medications work and can make some side effects more likely. Tell your prescribing physician about all drugs you’re taking, including vitamins, and herbal and dietary supplements.

Emgality warnings & precautions

Don’t take Emgality if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient galcanezumab
  • Have had an allergic reaction to any of the other ingredients in Emgality
  • Are under 18 years of age

Talk to your doctor before taking Emgality if you:

  • Are taking any medications or supplements
  • Have any other medical conditions
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed – It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk

You should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Emgality, to make sure it is safe for you.

How to avoid Emgality side effects

The best way to avoid side effects is to take Emgality as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and do not take more or less than prescribed.

If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend ways to help reduce or prevent some of the side effects.

1. Stick to the recommended dosage

Take your prescribed dose of Emgality that has been recommended by your healthcare professional. Do not take more or less than prescribed.

2. Avoid alcohol

Emgality is not known to interact with alcohol. However, you should be aware that alcohol can trigger migraines for many people.

3. Know the signs and symptoms of Emgality side effects

Signs and symptoms of side effects include injection site reaction, itching, and rashes. If you experience any of these symptoms speak to your doctor for medical advice.

4. Monitor your weight

Emgality is not known to cause weight loss or weight gain.

5. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking

Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as they may interact with Emgality.

6. Get regular medical check ups

If you have side effects it is important to get regular medical check ups and monitor your medical conditions. Your doctor will monitor your side effects and may adjust your dose of Emgality as needed.

Medically reviewed

A medical professional has reviewed this article.

Jamie Winn, PharmD
Jamie Winn, PharmD

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Dr. Jamie Winn received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC. Jamie is a medical reviewer for NiceRx.

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The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.