Inflammatory complications of CGRP monoclonal antibodies: a case series

Jason C. Ray, Penelope Allen, Ann Bacsi, Julian J. Bosco, Luke Chen, Michael Eller, Hock Kua, Lyndell L. Lim, Manjit S. Matharu, Mastura Monif, Martin Ruttledge, Richard J. Stark, Elspeth J. Hutton

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is expressed throughout the body and is a known mediator of migraine, exerting this biological effect through activation of trigeminovascular, meningeal and associated neuronal pathways located in close proximity to the central nervous system. Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) targeting the CGRP pathway are an effective new preventive treatment for migraine, with a generally favourable adverse event profile. Pre-clinical evidence supports an anti-inflammatory/immunoregulatory role for CGRP in other organ systems, and therefore inhibition of the normal action of this peptide may promote a pro-inflammatory response. Cases: We present a case series of eight patients with new or significantly worsened inflammatory pathology in close temporal association with the commencement of CGRP mAb therapy. Conclusion: This case series provides novel insights on the potential molecular mechanisms and side-effects of CGRP antagonism in migraine and supports clinical vigilance in patient care going forward.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Headache and Pain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Autoimmune diseases
  • CGRP
  • CGRP receptor antagonists
  • Drug-related side effects and adverse reactions
  • Migraine
  • Monoclonal antibodies

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