Calcitonin gene related peptide in migraine: current therapeutics, future implications and potential off-target effects

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2021 Dec;92(12):1325-1334. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2020-324674. Epub 2021 Jan 25.


Migraine is the second largest cause of years lost to disability globally among all diseases, with a worldwide prevalence over 1 billion. Despite the global burden of migraine, few classes of therapeutics have been specifically developed to combat migraine. After 30 years of translational research, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitors have emerged as a promising new tool in the prevention of migraine. Like all new therapeutics; however, we have limited real-world experience and CGRP has several known systemic actions that warrant consideration. This article provides a narrative review of the evidence for CGRP antagonists and summarises the known and potential side effects that should be considered.

Keywords: drug trials; headache; migraine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Receptor Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Receptor Antagonists