Recently the FDA approved a new device that is indicated for migraine prevention. Cefaly is a futuristic looking headband that sends electric impulses to the cluster of nerves that associated with migraine pain, also known as the trigeminal nerve. The device had been used for quite a while in Belgium, where the company originated, and is creating quite a buzz in the states now that it has the approval of the Food and Drug Administration. Migraine sufferers in our office have been asking about it, so we decided to do a little research on it.
One of the most impressive things we’ve learned about Cefaly is that it is, supposedly, side effect free! Less than 5% of people reported any side effects. Anyone taking migraine medications knows that you could have adverse side effects including heart palpitations, tingling, sleepiness, flushing, throat and chest tightness, nausea, fatigue, depression, insomnia, lowered blood pressure, weight gain, constipation, dry mouth, sedation, decreased libido, impotence, hair loss, tinnitus, visual changes, and memory problems. Some people who have tried the device reported that the electrical impulses were very painful, according to migraine.com. This is most likey because chronic migraine sufferers can have increased sensitivity in the nerve endings on the forehead. As stated on their website, “ Cefaly can considerably reduce or replace the consumption of side effect producing medications. Cefaly is the first cranial analgesic electrotherapeutic device to acquire ISO medical certification proven effective on migraine pain with no side effects.”
So, how does this magic headband work? An electrode attached to the band is placed in the center of your forehead. That electrode transmits electrical impulses directly to the trigeminal nerve. This stimulation increases the production of endorphins. So, Cefaly basically floods the nerve fibers with endorphins to the point that they have no room to allow pain. It literally blocks the migraine pain from entering into your nervous system. It is recommended that you use the device for 20 minutes daily. Over time it has the potential to reduce the severity and number of migraines a patient experiences. So, how do you get your hands on one to see if it works for you?
You will need a prescription for Cefaly, but because it was just approved by the FDA, it is not covered by insurance yet in the U.S. You can order it right on the Cefaly website. Once you’ve place your order, you then need to email your prescription (in PDF form) to firstname.lastname@example.org (you may also fax it to 011 32 4 3676702). After they receive your prescription you should receive the product within 2 weeks. The device will cost you $295 plus shipping costs. Dr. Marano has given his migraine patients who were interested information on Cefaly to try it in conjunction with the Neuroline Solutionsmigraine formula for a drug free treatment plan to lessen the occurrence and intensity of migraines in chronic migraine patients. We’ll keep you posted on the results!