Ubrelvy Review: Is Fast-Acting Migraine Relief Possible?

Ubrelvy Review: Is Fast-Acting Migraine Relief Possible?


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to prescription medication.

Ubrelvy is an FDA-approved prescription medication for migraines that the brand claims is “the #1 prescribed branded treatment for migraine attacks in adults.” It’s an acute treatment, meaning that it can stop a migraine after one develops, and also can be effective for long-term prevention of migraines.

The generic version of Ubrelvy is called ubrogepant, and we’ll use these terms interchangeably throughout this article because they refer to the same active drug ingredient.

But how much is Ubrelvy proven to reduce migraine symptoms in clinical studies, and how fast does it work? Does the drug have any concerning side effects? How much does it cost? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Ubrelvy?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we review clinical trials to determine whether or not Ubrelvy is effective for migraine relief, and how effective the drug is compared to other migraine medications.

We'll also document potential side effects, share unsponsored patient reviews, and document the cost of this medication.

Does Ubrelvy Eliminate Migraines?

Ubrelvy has been studied in many clinical trials to test its effects in migraine sufferers.

A medical review published in the Drugs Today journal analyzed data from two clinical trials on Ubrelvy for migraines.

The researchers found that Ubrelvy is not only effective for treating acute migraines, but “equally effective” at treating migraine-associated symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sensitivity to sound.

1 out of 5 patients experienced total relief from pain and discomfort with one single Ubrelvy dose.

A 2021 clinical trial on Ubrelvy had 2,240 participants, who were all migraine sufferers, and were either assigned to take Ubrelvy or a placebo pill.

Total reduction of pain was reported by 20.5% of patients on Ubrelvy and 13% of patients taking placebo pills. Reduction of the worst migraine symptom was experienced by 38.7% of patients on Ubrelvy and 27.6% of patients taking placebo pills.

meta-study on Ubrelvy as an adjunctive treatment was published in the Advances in Therapy journal.

This means Ubrelvy was used in patients who were already taking a different drug for long-term prevention of migraines.

Ubrelvy as an adjunctive treatment was found to cause greater improvements in pain scores than other migraine medications alone.

Around 42% of patients using Ubrelvy as an adjunctive treatment to another migraine medication had a complete reduction in migraine symptoms after 2 hours.

We can conclude from the available research that Ubrelvy is effective for significantly reducing migraine symptoms, which is unsurprising given that the drug is approved by the FDA for that indication.

Does Ubrelvy Cause Side Effects?

Ubrelvy does cause side effects in some patients.

A 2019 medical study on Ubrevly found that the most common side effects were nausea, drowsiness and dry mouth. These side effects were experienced from between 0.4% and 4.1% of patients.

These side effects are mild compared to the side effect profile of many prescription medications, and a frequency of under 5% is relatively low.

There were a few patients in Ubrelvy trials that experienced more severe side effects.

One patient had a spontaneous abortion (representing 0.2% of trial participants), one patient had a pericardial effusion (a heart condition which is typically treatable) and one patient experienced a seizure.

It's worth noting that these rare side effects occurred more than 48 hours after Ubrelvy dosing, which suggests they may be unrelated to use of the drug.

Ubrelvy appears to have a relatively mild side effect profile compared to many pharmaceutical medications, and notably the drug's FDA label is free of a "black box" warning, which is the most severe level of warning issued by the FDA, and which indicates a risk of life-threatening side effects.

Real People Try Ubrelvy

A TikTok user named Searsha Gebhart shared a video of her experience using Ubrelvy for the first time. The video is under one minute long and explains her symptoms:

@searshagebhart I don’t know what I would do without this little pill @@ubrelvy #freeadvertising #migrainerelief #holygrailproducts #sothankful ♬ original sound - Searsha Gebhart

A TikTok creator named "lifeasnichole" claims to have had a positive experience using Ubrelvy:

@lifeasnichole Consider this a massive PSA for all migraine sufferers out there. This will literally change your life. #ubrelvy #migraine #Also this is not an ad but totally could be 😆 #migraines @ubrelvy ♬ original sound - lifeasnichole

Can Curcumin Naturally Relieve Migraines?

There is some convincing medical research on the efficacy of curcumin (the active chemical compound in turmeric) for migraine relief.

medical trial published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine tested curcumin supplements in migraine patients.

The group taking curcumin supplements experienced around a 50% drop in severity and frequency of migraines, which was a much better result than the group taking placebo.

A 2022 clinical trial examined the effectiveness of curcumin supplementation in patients with episodic migraines. Those supplementing with curcumin experienced "significantly reduced" attack frequencies, severity and duration of headaches. 

Bulletproof Curcumin Max is our top curcumin supplement pick, because it contains a turmeric root complex standardized for minimum 45% curcuminoids, and it's entirely free of unhealthy additives.

Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Curcumin Max at this link to the product page on the brand's official website.

We are not suggesting that the supplement referenced in this section is as effective as Ubrelvy, or any other FDA-approved medication.

Rather, we're sharing an option that patients with an aversion to pharmaceutical medication may wish to speak to their doctor about.

Patients Rate Ubrelvy

Drugs.com is a website that allows prescription medication patients to rate and review the drugs they're taking.

We cannot verify the accuracy or authenticity of any reviews on this site.

Ubrelvy has been reviewed over 200 times on Drugs.com, and has an average rating of 6.1 out of 10 at the time of updating this article.

A top positive review of Ubrelvy is written by a user named “Darthloco” who gave the drug a 9/10 rating, and claims that their migraine pain has been significantly reduced:

“Ubrelvy has been a medication that for the first time in my life pursuing treatment showing any efficacy to drop my pain index 3+ points! Not perfect, typically 6-8 hours of diminished intensity of pain/affects on my system.”

A top negative review of Ubrelvy is written by a user named “Chachel” who gave the drug a 1/10 rating, and claims it was ineffective and caused serious side effects:

“I used the samples this past week and it didn't touch my migraine. In fact I think it made it worse. I also got very nauseous, and that continued even after violently vomiting. It made me very sleepy, and I felt terrible the rest of the day. I woke up the next morning feeling very strange.”

How Much Does Ubrelvy Cost?

The cost of Ubrelvy can vary significantly for patients in the US depending on health insurance coverage.

According to GoodRx, the retail price of Ubrelvy is currently around $1,050 at the time of updating this article.

The official Ubrelvy website has a Savings page with information about a copay card called the "U-Save Card."

This resource also has a number that patients can text to potentially receive a coupon and determine if they are "eligible to pay as little as $0 for every fill" of the medication.

We typically recommend that patients speak with their doctor about the generic alternative of brand-name medications, because generic drugs are as effective on average but can be significantly cheaper.

However, since Ubrelvy was recently approved by the FDA, there is no generic version currently available in the US according to the above-linked GoodRx pricing page.

Ubrelvy vs. Nurtec

Nurtec is another prescription migraine medication, so patients are often curious about which is more effective.

These two medications have been compared head-to-head in a clinical trial published in 2022.

The researchers found that Nurtec was slightly more effective for both pain freedom at 2 hours and sustained pain freedom.

Nurtec was also slightly superior at providing pain freedom 2-24 hours after the medications were taken.

It's too early to definitively state that Nurtec is more effective for migraines than Ubrelvy, but in the context of this data we would recommend that patients speak with their doctor about Nurtec over Ubrelvy.

How Does Ubrelvy Work?

Ubrelvy is in a class of medications called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonists. 

The mechanism of action of drugs like Ubrelvy is blocking CGRP from attaching to nerve endings that signal pain.

medical review on Ubrelby published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy journal documented that CGRP levels are elevated during a migraine attack, and that they may be constantly elevated in patients who suffer from regular migraines.

By antagonizing the receptor site, Ubrelvy provides relief.

The above-linked research review also notes how quickly Ubrelvy is absorbed by the body: its peak concentration in the blood occurs between 0.7 and 1.5 hours after intake, so this medication is able to provide relatively rapid relief.

Ubrelvy Dosage

According to the official brand's website, Ubrelvy is prescribed at one of two doses: 50 milligrams (mg) or 100 mg.

These two doses appear similarly effective based on research studies cited earlier in this article.

19.2% of patients taking a 50 mg dose experienced total pain relief, while 21.2% of patients taking 100 mg dose experienced total pain relief.

This slightly improved outcome at the higher dose would initially suggest that it’s more effective, but only 37.7% of patients on the higher dose “had freedom” from their most bothersome migraine symptom after 2 hours, while 38.6% of patients on the lower dose did.

Given that the higher dose seems only marginally more effective if more effective at all based on clinical research, it may be beneficial for patients to speak with their doctor about the lower 50 mg Ubrelvy dose, because lower doses of drugs may have lower risks of side effects.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Ubrelvy is an effective treatment option for migraines and migraine-related symptoms like nausea.

The drug has a relatively mild side effect profile, and its FDA label does not have a black box warning indicating a risk of severe side effects.

Nurtec, which is another prescription migraine relief medication, was shown to be slightly superior to Ubrelvy in one clinical trial.

Ubrelvy was recently approved by the FDA, so there is currently no generic alternative available in the US.

The official brand's website has a Cost Savings page, linked in this article, where prospective patients can check to see if they're eligible for significant discounts on the price of the drug.