November 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm #46095
My neurologist at Mayo Clinic just told me about Cefaly, a device using TENS technology created just for migraineurs. It is only sold in Canada so far, but my doctor has had a few patients buy it and get good results. She recommended I get one for my chronic migraines, but it is really expensive for me and I wanted to find to talk to someone who has used this firsthand before I buy one. Has anyone used this or can you point me toward anyone who has?
PS – If you have never heard of Cefaly, the website is cefaly.ca. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like there are any near future plans for it to cross into the USA.
November 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm #46107
acmeyers568 – Sales of this item aren’t allowed in the US as you’ve noted. I’ve known a few to try it, including our own Teri Robert here on Migraine.com, however, none have had good results from it I’m afraid. That doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else, but it’s definitely not the miracle we’ve all been praying for. Not yet anyway…
Here is how you can get hold of Teri: https://migraine.com/members/Teri-Robert/profile/
March 31, 2014 at 5:29 am #48977
Hi acmeyers568. Cefaly migraine device is really helpful for sticking pain. Its quite expensive so don’t use it without your doctor’s advice. I’ve no personal experience, but one of my co-worker use it and feel better. Result varies. Anyway if you want to buy it hopefully this site can help you a lot. But I think not only this kind of device but try alternative medication like magnet band, meditation, relaxing yoga, and balanced diet. http://www.migraineheadacherelief.org.uk/drugless-pain-relief-from-migraines-is-here-at-last/
Hope you feel better.
October 23, 2014 at 11:38 pm #56620
I finally got my cefaly 9 days ago!! I have had migraines for over 30 years….I am up to as many as 10 per month and I have over used every single drug I have been given…maxalt…treximet….imitrex!! The day it arrived I was on day 4 of a bad migraine… The treatment did not stop it but I have used it for 20 minutes every day since with NO migraines…. I am scared to death to jinx myself here but I am praying this is finally the answer for me…. I plan to shout it from the rooftops if this is real!!!!!….
December 16, 2014 at 7:23 pm #58585
I just got mine and it is too soon to tell but I am also optimistic. I have also seen something called the “Arnold” that targets the occipital nerve and works with the Cefaly. Unfortunately it is not sold in the US and I am still working on a way to get it. http://www.cefaly.com/en/kit-arnold is the website. If anyone has heard of it and used it I would be interested in the results.
November 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm #46158
I got my hands on one a few years ago when they were only recommending it to stop a Migraine in progress. It didn’t help me, and I returned it to the person who owned it. Now that the company is promoting it for prevention, I tried to reach them, but they haven’t replied to me. As Ellen said, it’s not available in the U.S. yet; just in Canada.
Wish I could tell you more, but until it’s FDA approved in the U.S., I don’t know of any way to try it.
November 9, 2013 at 11:58 am #46196
Thank you ladies for the helpful info.
November 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm #46311
I found Cefaly available at Costco Canada online at $249.00 for the device and $36.99 for a replacement set of 6 electrodes. There are over 20 Canadian reviews on the product detail page. It’s quite pricey if it doesn’t work, but results appear to vary widely. Unfortunately, I have no experience with it.
Does Cefaly have a risk of any serious side effects?
December 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm #46891
I’ve never seen anything about potentially side serious effects from the Cephaly. That said, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone use it without discussing it with your doctor first.
January 29, 2014 at 7:44 pm #47625
I live in Canada and purchased one from costco a few years ago. It’s a piece of garbage. It didn’t work for my migraines in progress nor did it work as a preventative. Costco was great and took it back. It might work for someone else, but it was a waste of money for me.
January 31, 2014 at 8:30 pm #47670
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Cefaly. It’s a lot of money for a device they may or may not work.
March 19, 2014 at 10:04 pm #48651
Last week, the Cefaly device was approved by the FDA for use in the US. My neuro’s office has one and they had me come in for three consecutive days to try it out. I found it to be very painful during the treatment, but am willing to put up with 20 minutes of pain if relief is in sight. Sadly, after my third treatment today, I developed another migraine, so I am not sure it will work for me. The jury is still out on this. I recommend trying it out before purchasing one if you can. I still might buy one, but I need more information about whether or not it has the potential to CAUSE a migraine in the early stages of use. It’s so new, that info is hard to find. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I’ve been in about an 8 week cycle of daily migraines with the exception of about 10 days after 1) an infusion at the neuro’s office and 2) an occipital nerve block at the neuro’s office.
I’m on my second round of oral steroids beginning today. If this doesn’t work, they will admit me to the hospital for a 72 hour headache protocol. I’m not sure what this will entail, but I may learn soon enough.
Best of luck to everyone here. I hope we all find the treatment that works for us!
March 26, 2014 at 8:39 pm #48853
I do hope you are feeling better by now. Were you hospitalized to try and break this nasty cycle?
Let us know, OK?
June 10, 2014 at 1:03 pm #52006
I did end up in the hospital for my neuro’s version of the DHE protocol. It helped (though the Zofran gave me a different kind of headache so we changed to oral phenergan) and I was headache free for about 5 days. Then they came back. Once I was able to get my botox (have to wait 3 months between injections) it took another two weeks to kick in and now I’m just FINE.
Still waiting to hear from insurance about the Cefaly. MAs at the neuro office said insurance is starting to pay for them in the US. I am not sure if it will help, but some of their patients said they had to use it for a few months before they saw the benefit. I’m certainly willing to give it a try! It does cause me significant pain while using it (for my 3 day trial at the doctor’s office) but 20 minutes of daily pain beats daily migraines, as you all know!
For me, botox has been the magic bullet, but there have been two times when it just didn’t seem to work. I have no idea why but will keep at it.
Best of luck to all!
March 28, 2014 at 9:35 pm #48921
I totally get why you should try a Cefaly before buying one – they are expensive. I learned to American version is different than the original. The European version has three settings – preventative, abortive and relaxation. The American one only has one setting. I would love to try one first, but I can’t wait that long until I find one. I am going to order the real deal from Europe. My family lives in Germany and they are going to send it to me. There is also an occipital accessory you can purchase as well which I am going to do too. There is a guarantee on it, so if it doesn’t work, I can send it back. Like everyone else, I have tried everything and hope springs eternal with the Cefaly!
April 1, 2014 at 3:32 pm #49014
Best of luck, naturegirl! Please do keep us posted…
April 2, 2014 at 11:43 am #49073
I have a used Cefaly but haven’t tried it yet. The non US version. I do have a prescription for one but the previously owned one was less expensive. I’m curious about the occipital accessory? I haven’t heard of that.
April 2, 2014 at 9:09 pm #49107
The occipital accessory is called the “Arnold kit,” but they’re not selling it on the US website. I’ve contacted the company to see if it is possible for someone in the U.S. to purchase it and will let you know what I hear.
April 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm #49193
According to a company representative, the occipital accessory is not FDA-approved and isn’t for sale in the US. Non-US distributors are not supposed to send it here, though you might find some who will.
April 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm #49222
Thanks Kerrie, I’ll see if I can get one. One of our daughters sometimes works in Canada so if she does I might see if she can get one. I’ve used the Cefaly twice now at the highest setting for 20 minutes. The first time I’d had an all day migraine but what I would call a medium one that got worse as the day went on. I used the Cefaly that evening, it took the migraine away, but it came back shortly after so I took Sumatriptan and Zofran. Last night I got a headache in the evening and I’m not sure it was a migraine. I used the Cefaly again and it went away and stayed away. So I was happy for that. I almost always wake up with a migraine when I get them and they start at the back base of my neck so I’m wondering if the Cefaly will be the answer. I will keep using it and have hopes it will be the answer.
April 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm #49253
Best of luck. Please keep us posted on how it works for you.
April 7, 2014 at 8:26 pm #49334
I just got mine today.
I was able to stop the intensity by pushing the button in the middle. I stopped it when it was sort of uncomfortable/unpleasant. But within a short amount of time it just felt like tingling. Tingling up into the scalp and across the forehead and face. Very strange.
It’s been a few hours now and my face and head feel sort of like it always does when I need to relax ASAP or get a migraine.
It beeped when the 20 min. is over. Do all the models do that?
I’m crossing my fingers on this one. My doc wants me to try botox next (and that’s seriously expensive and I HATE needles).
Hey, good luck all around for trying this thing!
April 8, 2014 at 12:06 am #49343
Yes, the beeping is normal.
I’m glad you were able to tolerate the sensation (though I agree it feels pretty weird!) and hope you get some lasting relief from it.
April 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm #49422
Update on Cefaly availability: As of April 9, 2014, the order page of Cefaly’s U.S. website says, “Order intakes on hold for a week because of limitation in the supply chain.” This notice apparently went up today, so I hope that means you’ll be able to order from them next week. I’ll keep an eye on the site and let you know if anything changes.
April 12, 2014 at 5:09 pm #49526
Does anyone know how to get an original version of the Cefaly sent to the US? I would like one but do not want the “dumbed down” version the FDA approved for sale here inside the US. None of the other Cefaly websites will ship to the US and the Canadian Costco and Amazon are out with no restocking in the foreseeable future.
If you have an original Cefaly – the kind with the 3 settings: preventative, abortive, and relaxation – or you know some one who and no longer wants it, please let me know. Or if you have any other ideas for me, I’d really appreciate anything and everything you may think of.
April 12, 2014 at 6:41 pm #49527
Try contacting Roxon (http://www.roxon.ca/site/product/247/84) to see if they’ll ship to you. They used to, but I don’t know if they still will now that it’s available in the US. Oximetry (http://www.oximetry.ca/en_migr.php) also used to ship to the US, though they only have replacement electrodes listed on their site now.
April 16, 2014 at 12:21 pm #49608
Cefaly has removed the “not currently taking orders” notification from their website. They appear to now be shipping previously ordered products and taking new orders.
April 19, 2014 at 2:47 pm #49684
hi guys. i live in northern europe and just ordered mine through friend in canada. funny i did not know they are available in europe. i though u can buy them only in canada..maybe some of u will lough..but, how i even came across it..i had a session with one psychic from isa and he asked me..out of blue, do u suffer from head aches. i said, yes i do. and he said, well, soon u will come across some kind of thing u can put on u head and it will help u with them. he described kind of how it will look. funny, but that evening just by accident i came across this thing in internet. i am not sure if it will work, but i have to try. will let u know, when i get mine. also, for people who suffer from migraines..try to read book, You are what u eat. its incredible and my friend, who suffers from migraines follows those rules what to eat and what not, she never had migraine again..i am too lazy kind of to put such an effort – love my food too much:(( other thing…check u spine..specially neck part…often people who have migraines have some deformity in their spine..i did not know about mind till they made me do magnetic resonance scan…and u know, what else works for me for now. i take ibumetin..the simple 400 mg per pill – like 2 pills and go to run for 30 min – u have to run fast so u sweat a lot..pain is crazy..i always cry when i do that, coz running with migraine is not fun at all..but hei…u will be surprised how well it takes it away for hours. try it. i discovered it by accident. but before u go running u have to take ibumetin or any other pain killer like that. ok, thats my experience:)oo, and one more thing. couple of years ago we lived in india, and there was one women who was p[practicing pranic healing…dont ask me, how she did it.. she was doing something with crystals, and made me think of certain experiences, what opened such an emotions in me..she took away my migraines for half a year. since i don’t live in india any more..no more option like that:( i hope my experiences helps somebody, coz i know what u guys go through..;)
April 29, 2014 at 3:27 pm #50116
I ordered my Cefaly the day the FDA approval headline hit. I have used it for a week (the version that has been called the ‘non-US’ version). I believe it says it takes 2-3 weeks minimum to show benefits. There has been no change to my headache frquency yet. It looks like I snuck one out before they required a prescription. I’ll keep you all posted on my progress.
May 1, 2014 at 2:39 am #50233
I’m considering to subscribe for a 40 day trial for Cefaly which costs € 49. At the end of the trial you have the option of sending it back or either purchasing the apparatus.
However I have two questions; I wonder why the US version is different to the European one and was also wondering whether the treatment was painful ? Some of you mention that the actual treatment is strange. I wonder whether it would have something to do with the actual apartus being attached to the head ?
As I live in Europe I would be getting the original version with the three settings.
May 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm #50254
FDA only approved Cefaly for prevention, so that’s the only setting that’s available in the U.S.
Some people find the sensation painful, others don’t. The intensity increases during the program and you can stop it from increasing at any time. If it is painful for you, you can try using it at the lowest intensity for a while to get used to it.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
May 1, 2014 at 1:34 pm #50260
I think that I will have to wait until I get back from my holiday before ordering it for the trial period.
I certainly will do more research and find out how it works.
It’s a shame that there are not more statistics available on the product’s success rate. Furthermore, I also
wonder why the doctor that I saw for my migraines didn’t suggest that I try the product.
May 1, 2014 at 8:33 pm #50287
It would be nice if there were more studies. Although it’s not a formal study, the U.S. approval kind of feels like a test to see what a large number of people think of it.
The studies on it’s efficacy are fairly new, so your doctor may be cautious about suggesting a treatment for which there’s not a lot of evidence.
May 10, 2014 at 11:28 pm #50650
Hi Everyone. I live in Canada and have had a cefaly machine for about a year. I haven’t used the ‘preventative’ function – I’ve used it only when I get a migraine. I can share the following:
– the first time I used it I did find it painful, but over time I have become accustomed to the intensity of it
– for me it does not take away my migraine, but what it does do for me is ‘block’ or ‘dull’ the pain while the treatment is going on…my migraines tend to last three days so it’s nice to get a bit of a break! I usually do 2 cycles in a row, and this allows me to relax and sometimes fall asleep as well.
May 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm #50698
I ordered a US unit from Belgium and it has arrived today. I suffer usually 21 out of 30 days a month. So I will be trying out the preventive mode starting tonight. I have not seen the instructions yet but wonder if it is better to use it at night or in the morning? Any advice?
May 13, 2014 at 7:17 am #50707
I’d be interested to read your feedback as I’m also planning to order a Cefaly for a trial period after my holidays.
I also used to suffer with the same amount of migraines that you do. However since I have given up sugar and carbs I usually get 2 per week.
May 13, 2014 at 7:46 am #50710
Hey California Girl,
I complete my first session last night. After I got it out of the box and read all the instructions I was to curious to wait. It feels really weird. Starts out feeling like very light stings and progresses to feeling like every muscle in the top of my head are all contracting to a single spot on the top of my head. Then it changes and feels like all the muscles are contracting in a clockwise direction. The area that is impacted is across my forehead to almost the top back of my head which actually ends up numb for part of the session. It does not hurt exactly just feels really weird. I can see why not every cares for it. Being an engineer, I sat with my eyes closed trying to figure out what each sensation really was doing. At one point the band felt like it was slipping down my forehead but in actuality it was not moving at all. It was just the result of the electronic pulse the device was giving off. I had a slight migraine when. I put it on. At one point I thought he device was going to make it worse. But that did not happen. Woke up this am with no headache. I do not think the device worked that quickly just that today may be a headache free one regardless. I am a little concerned about the fact I did not sleep well last night. Insomnia is a potential side effect in a small portion of the users of Cefaly. It could be that I had caffeine to late in the day yesterday. I am going to cut off my caffeine intake at lunch today and see if I still have a restless night tonight. I will continue to keep you posted as I gain experience using the headband.
May 13, 2014 at 9:00 am #50716
It is great to be able to get some feedback as many people would like to use this device. I must say that the sensations that you describe do seem a bit scary. Anyway, anything is better than a full blown migraine including all the medication that one has to take !
As I’m in Europe, I will be trying the device with 3 settings so I don’t know whether it would make a big
I’ll continue to watch this thread for your precious feedback or ‘diary’ of a Cefaly user.
I hope that it will give you some relief.
BTW – I have also had some relief during these last few day with caffeine. A cup of strong coffee has certainly given me some or complete relief for minor attacks.
Thank you for posting !
May 16, 2014 at 8:29 am #50902
Well so far I have little to report. I have gone through 4 treatments and have had migraines every day. I have used the Cefaly while I had a migraine. It did relieve it but only for about 20 minutes, then the migraine started coming back. But it seems all migraine preventatives take time to work so I am not giving up on this quite yet.
May 17, 2014 at 2:44 am #50938
Thank you for your update.
Do you still take medication for migraine relief or do you just rely on the Cefaly device ?
Fingers crossed that you will have a success story to tell!!
May 17, 2014 at 7:41 am #50941
Hey californiagirl, at this point ai am still taking relief meds, Zomig and promeathazane. At least I know what triggered my migraines this week as I started my menstrual cycle yesterday.that is usually when my migraines start. So the next couple weeks will be interesting to see how many migriane’s I have as the time mine are the most frequent are from a couple days before through 2 weeks after my cycle.
May 17, 2014 at 9:57 am #50950
I hope that you’ll get some relief with Cefaly as it is annoying to have to rely on Triptans and other strong medication for killer migraines. I usually take a 100mg of indocid ; Indometacin or indomethacin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
I am also following a low carb diet and have virtually eliminated sugar and refined carbs from my diet. I haven’t had a bad migraine since the last 2 weeks which is unusual.
Keep up the experiment and the feedback. I’m eager to read your comments.
May 23, 2014 at 1:41 am #51148
I am new to the forum. I have had migraines for about 12 years. Used to be daily and now down to about 1 a week. Have tried everything in the past. I think diet changes and use of magnesium has helped but I still get at least 1 a week. I think mine are occipital and also reboudn from immitrex and cafergot.
Have been using Cefaly for about a month. I went from a migraine once a week and now after a month…drum roll please…..I have a migraine once a week. It has not made an ounce of difference. I think if your headaches are frontal and trigeminal nerve related or stress related you might get some reliefe but it has not helped me one bit and I will probably sell it or return it.
I am glad that it does offer relief for some people. I am trying organic sulfur now and will report back if it helps.
May 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm #51154
I have used my Cefaly every night (on setting 2) for about a month now. I can’t say I have noticed any improvement in my headache count (I get 5-8 a month). The directions say to do it at least twice a day and that it could take weeks to see improvement. I’m not giving up, but will try to start twice a now. I’ll keep you posted
June 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm #51601
Well I have been using mine daily for just over 3 weeks. The first electrode lasted for the full 20 days. In fact I probably could have gotten a few more days out of it but was worried that the intensity had dropped off. But new electrode seems to feel about the same as the old electrode right before I changed. I am seeing a little bit of improvement. I have gone for a few days in a row without a migraine. This was rare before starting the Cefaly. Unfortunately I am having a hard time remembering to journal my experience. I have to do better at the journaling thing!!!! I have developed a new symptom, vertigo. Not sure if it is related to Cefaly use as it is not a listed side effect.
June 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm #51970
Just to chime in with my experience… and ask a question at the end
I got a Cefaly in April and have been using it regularly, almost every day other than a few days after I got my first round of botox shots – the neurologist who did the botox said not to for a few days.
My experience: The sensation is weird and uncomfortable at first, but after a week or so I started to find it soothing. I have not noticed a decrease in headaches but it does feel like a non-pill-popping option for me when a headache is starting or on days where my head is more annoying than full-blown migraine. It helps me relax, sometimes I doze off (though the beep at the end wakes me up.)
Like Bayou Tigress, my worst time is a few days before my period until two weeks after. I never got headaches until my early 40s so I think they are perimenopausal-related, and if the various other things we are trying don’t help my neurologist wants me to see a reproductive endocrinologist who has a special interest in hormonal headaches.
Usually I have annoying discomfort (pulling, tugging, or a painful bruise feeling) almost every day, usually around my occipital nerves and big fat migraines (spike in the eye, sometimes through to the ear) usually 4-8 times a month. I take Maxalt and/or Advil for the headaches which usually help, and Amitriptyline as a daily preventive. I’m not sure it is working much on the headaches, but my mood is better and I am going to try upping the dose at some point.
l too have developed a bit of vertigo since starting the Cefaly. But my neurologist is convinced the Cefaly is not the problem – she is not sure it can help but says it can’t hurt and vertigo is often a variation on the headache in migraine. The Cefaly isn’t more or less uncomfortable when I have the vertigo. I don’t mean to suggest that it caused the vertigo – I doubt it – but it is interesting to me that you have developed it too.
My question: There is an attachment for the Cefaly called the “Arnold Kit” that lets you stimulate the occipital nerve. I think someone mentioned it above – any luck getting it from Cefaly or elsewhere? My neurologist said if I can’t get one, maybe just turn the thing around and stick the electrode on the back (I don’t think it would stick unless I shaved my head….)
June 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm #52015
Hi LilyB, I had not heard of the “Arnold Kit” and it was not an option when I purchased my Cefaly.. The only two things I could buy were the headband and the electrodes. I brought mine in to my office as several people were asking me about it. One of my guys put it on his head without the electrode and felt very little. So I agree with you that a shaved are of your head would probably be necessary to attach the electrode to the back of your head. I do remember reading in the instructions that they do not recommend or approved of the device being installed in any other location or orientation other than on the forehead.
If you do see a reproductive specialist with interest in hormonal headaches, I would love to hear what thy say. I am on Depo Provera shots on a 10 week interval. The recommended frequency is 12 weeks but mine wear off after 8 weeks and the 10 week interval seems to be the least frequency my Dr is comfortable with.
June 11, 2014 at 6:30 am #52072
I just got an email back from Cefaly, that the Arnold kit is not approved in the US and they can’t sell/ship it here.
Maybe I’ll see if a friend outside the US would be willing to get me one…
July 20, 2014 at 9:57 pm #53115
I began using the US FDA approved Cefaly a few days ago. I have been using HEG (Hemoencephalography – pIR http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemoencephalography) twice weekly to good result: reduced effect of triggers (bananas, chocolate, dehydration, and more) and significantly reduced frequency of bad migraines with aura. The effect of the daily Cefaly has been interesting in that it revealed that i tend to have low grade migraines quite frequently and the Cefaly stops them at least for a few hours. Since i’ve only been using them for a few days, its too early to tell just how much this will help in the long term, but i will post updates over time.
One thing that surprised me is that placement of the gel patch is critical. I was placing it a millimeter above my eyebrows and that appears to be to high. So, today i placed it more closely to my eyebrows. Only time will tell.
July 28, 2014 at 8:12 pm #53386
I was able to get the European version of the Cefaly from a family member who lives in Germany. I had really high hopes and used it as directed. Sometimes I thought it worked, and other times I wasn’t so sure. I had several severe headaches during this time. I stopped using it to see if the severe headaches would subside; they did. If anyone who is looking for the European version, I can sell it to you at a discount.
July 31, 2014 at 9:09 pm #54164
I’m interested in the European version. How much would it cost and how would we work out the transaction?
July 28, 2014 at 8:13 pm #53388
I was able to get the European version of the Cefaly from a family member who lives in Germany. I had really high hopes and used it as directed. Sometimes I thought it worked, and other times I wasn’t so sure. I had several severe headaches during this time. I stopped using it to see if the severe headaches would subside; they did. If anyone who is looking for the European version, I can sell it to you at a discount.
July 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm #54166
Hello jefried! Contact me at **** and we can discuss off forum so we don’t bog down everyone else!
EDITED PER THE TERMS OF THE WEBSITE TO EXCLUDE PERSONAL CONTACT INFORMATION
September 6, 2014 at 8:22 pm #55232
Day 4 of US Cefaly:
I have had to push the button every day so far to hold the intensity level steady, but have made it a little farther each time. The first time it felt tingly. The 2nd & 3rd it felt tingly, then like a lot of ants wearing really, really heavy army boots running super fast across my forehead, then like my forehead was being stretched 2 feet across and then back down to the width of my nose. Strange, huh? So, it’s only been a couple days but I haven’t had a migraine, and it rained yesterday, which is a huge trigger for me. Time will tell if this will end up being a real help to me over the long haul, gosh I hope so. I’ll be happy to try to answer any questions from people who are considering purchasing one, or would like updates on progress.
September 12, 2014 at 9:30 pm #55422
I am looking for a prescription from my neurologist for the Cefaly device this week. In the meantime, I use a lot of Imitrex – more than my prescription allows me to buy each month. Would you mind sharing how to buy Imitrex overseas, preferably in Europe rather than China. Thanks.
September 13, 2014 at 11:31 am #55511
I have a cousin that lives in Germany and she bought it on Amazon there, and sent it here. If you know of anyone that has a relative or friend in Europe, I would recommend talking to them.
I saw the post regarding the imetrex… I’m doing the same thing you are right now. I’m trying magnesium, but it is a liquid. I am also using spray on magnesium oil. If you not read the book magnesium miracle by Dr. Dean, I would recommend it. I’ve tried mag before, and after reading the book I know now why it may have not worked. My doc told me to try this for 6 weeks to see if my rebounds could get more under control. If it doesn’t work, I will go back in for DHE treatment.
Good Luck with your headaches. I so feel for you!
September 13, 2014 at 10:40 am #55427
Please be careful taking triptans more than 2-3 times each week as this can cause Medication Overuse Headache which is very difficult to treat. Treatment involves stopping all pain-relieving medication for 4-8 weeks to break the cycle. If you are having that many attacks each month, please talk to your doctor about more effective prevention options.
Moderator & Patient Advocate
September 26, 2014 at 7:54 pm #55773
I’ve been using the US FDA approved version of the Cefaly for two months. As i indicated in my earlier posting i am also using Jeffrey Carmen’s HEG biofeedback device twice per week. Over the past two months i have not had any serious migraines and my low grade migraines appear to be under control as well which has lifted much of my depression. The HEG biofeedback which i had been using for more than six months had reduced the frequency of major migraines, but had not done anything for the low grade migraines that the Cefaly has definitely reduced significantly.
Things i’ve noticed are as follows. By the end of the Cefaly session my forehead and most of the front of my scalp are numb. Sensation returns within a few minutes after the session ends. I measured the temperature of my forehead using a FLIR (see Amazon) and found that the Cefaly raised my forehead temperature (both lowest and highest values) by 5 degrees centigrade (roughly 9 degrees Fahrenheit) – the HEG biofeedback also raises my forehead temperature, but by less than 2 degrees centigrade. From the literature on the HEG biofeedback, raising the temperature of that area, including the brain, is the intent of the HEG biofeedback. Certainly raising the temperature of that area will cause blood vessels to dialate and that may be how both are able to reduce migraines. Of course the HEG biofeedback is teaching the user how to do this for themselves without the machine while the Cefaly must be repeated regularly because the client has no control over the process as with the biofeedback. While the FDA version is not approved for use during a migraine, i did try it once during the first few weeks and found that it reduced the strength of the migraine.
At some point i will try stopping the HEG biofeedback to see just how much i can accomplish with using just the Cefaly device.
Your mileage may vary, but this is what i’ve found so far.
September 27, 2014 at 12:14 pm #55781
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with Cefaly with us. I did want to mention that Cefaly is designed to be used on a daily basis to prevent migraine, you can read more about that in this article; http://migraine.com/blog/cefaly-questions-answered/.
Biofeedback works wonders for some people, I’ve not had luck with it to help reduce my migraine/head pain, but it is helpful for anxiety and tension.
Do keep us posted on how you are doing,
September 27, 2014 at 8:04 pm #55798
Thanks for the reminder about daily use, i forgot to mention it.
As for biofeedback i should have provided a little more information about HEG. I will post another response to my earlier post to update it.
HEG biofeedback, described on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemoencephalography (read the section on pIR, passive Infrared), is different from EEG biofeedback, aka neurofeedback, in that it uses temperature as the measure rather than electrical energy. This means that the response time is slower than with EEG and that it doesn’t need as much fine tuning as with EEG.
In my earlier post i said that HEG pIR (passive Infrared) only raised the temperature as measured at the forehead by less than 2 degrees centigrade, but a second test with measurement showed that there is some variability. In the second test i raised the temperature from (Low, High) (23.5, 35.6) to (29, 39) degrees centigrade. So there is some variability with HEG that does not occur with the Cefaly device and the amount raised differs between the lowest and highest temperature across the forehead where measured. Still, where the Cefaly raised it about 5 degrees centigrade, the HEG biofeedback raised it between 3.5 and 5.5 degrees centigrade, so the two are somewhat comparable. Again, the important difference between the HEG and Cefaly is that HEG is about teaching the user how to raise the temperature themselves without the device while the Cefaly requires daily use to passively raise the temperature for the client. And my experience with the HEG is that it stops the major migraines while the Cefaly appears to stop low grade migraines that happen much more frequently.
Last, i forgot to mention that the Cefaly device has put me to sleep on a number of occasions. I’m not sure what to make of it. It certainly hasn’t hurt me, but i was a bit surprised that near the end of the session i would suddenly find myself waking from sleep. The HEG biofeedback also tires me so i have to do it early in the day because later in the day and i will definitely fall asleep while using it.
As usual, a sample of one is not a sample, so your mileage may vary. I look forward to hearing from others on either of these devices.
Thanks … jeff
October 1, 2014 at 2:26 pm #55877
I have ordered mine and have been waiting for its arrival only to get an email this morning saying that it’s being held by US customs until I can provide my SS number. Has this happened to anyone else? I’m a bit leery about handing that information out to some stranger.
October 1, 2014 at 2:55 pm #55878
I have a Cefaly, the US kind with one setting, and have been using it for about 3 weeks. Last week it gave me a headache so bad I had to go to the emergency room. I’m very leery to use it again. Has anyone had this experience? I may have a cefaly for sale soon.
October 5, 2014 at 11:15 pm #55974
Monster59, sorry to hear that you are having a bad result with the Cefaly. I have been using the US FDA approved Cefaly daily now for 2 months with nothing but good results. It uncovered a near constant low grade migraine that my HEG pIR device didn’t help. Perhaps before giving up on the device it would be worth the effort to contact the Cefaly tech support to see if they can offer any suggestions. Have you tried limiting the strength of the feedback to a lighter level?
Also, to be clear when i say it is helping, i am still avoiding known food triggers. While the Cefaly and the HEG pIR biofeedback have stopped all of the major migraines, and they have reduced the impact of food triggers significantly, i still get mild migraines from some foods and i simply prefer not to have even those. so i won’t eat those foods.
October 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm #56005
I used Cefaly (FDA approved American version) for three months with zero effect. I was highly skeptical of obtaining any relief from outset, but Dr recommended it and I figured worth the experiment.
Another treatment bites the dust…
If anyone is interested in obtaining the cefaly unit from me secondhand it is in perfect working condition. Please feel free to contact me by clicking on my profile information.
October 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm #56553
I have had a Cefaly since the summertime, though I am only now starting to really use it daily. I am in the United States and ordered mine from the Belgian site with a prescription, and somehow lucked out and got the European model with all 3 settings. I am not sure if the preventative daily 20 minute sessions have done much for me yet, but I also need to get into a truly regular practice with them…to find a routine that works for me where I can set aside the time each day. I do find that it can make me sleepy, so I am thinking of making it part of my bedtime routine, since I have issues with insomnia.
What I find the most beneficial about the Cefaly is its assistance as an abortive. I have not found that it can abort headaches on its own on the level one, but what it does do well for me is assist with abortive medications. When I have a nasty headache, I take my medicine, put on the Cefaly, run it through one or two cycles, and find that it helps me relax and helps ease the pain until the medicine kicks in. Sometimes for the headaches that are not responsive to abortive medication, or only partially responsive to abortive and rescue, it provides temporarily relief while going through the few days necessary to ride it out.
I am hoping that these are good signs that the preventative setting when used regularly will also be helpful. I’ve got preventative medication, this, Botox…and acupuncture coming up soon, so I am keeping fingers crossed that the combination will allow me more relief.
October 25, 2014 at 8:39 pm #56672
Thanks for sharing your successful Cefaly story with us! It will be great to hear how you make out when using Cefaly on a daily basis for prevention.
Keep us posted,
October 25, 2014 at 8:46 pm #56675
What wonderful news!! We love hearing success stories, thank you so much for sharing yours with us.
I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for continued relief!
November 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm #57481
Hello, I will be using my Cefaly device for almost one month so far. It can be quite uncomfortable, even painful at times. I cannot use it right after or during a migraine, so I just skip it that day. However, I have noticed that I have reduced my migraines from two per week to one a week, and so far, (holding breath) it was less severe then former migraines. Since I have built up a tolerance to the Amerge I have used for over 20 years (nothing else works) I took one Amerge after my last headache and after about 6 hours I could get out of bed. I did not need to take the second pill after the 4th hour.
I also take B2, Mag., Q10, and assorted vitamins at separate times of the day. I juice for digestive issues and do Coffee enemas. Nothing I have done has helped me reduce or diminish the migraines, except this Cefaly. I watch what foods I eat(triggers)and Tyramine loaded foods, you name it, I researched and gave it a try. I would like to hear from folks who have been using it for a long time.
I do not want to use this more then 20 minutes per day. It is too uncomfortable. It made me sleepy at first, but I do not notice it now. Since I just accidently broke a bone in my Metatarsal, I get so tired from limping around in my boot/cast that I can fall asleep better then usual.
I also find that I cannot move my eyes or move even a tiny bit during treatment. I will not describe the feeling, it may discourage those of you to try it. For me, non medication treatment is worth it. Who knows what Tryptans and all those other meds will eventually do to our bodies.
November 21, 2014 at 11:37 pm #57679
I love my Cefaly!!!
I have had my Cefaly for 2 months. Instantly it changed my life. I use it every night preventatively like the US directions say. Mine only has one setting but they advise you to build up to the full 20 minute treatment. I was used to such a high pain amount that I was able to do the full treatment length on the second night. My chronic migraines have been ruling my life for the last 5 years. At worst I had 23/month. The second day I used Cefaly I was starting to get a migraine and it made it go away completely! The paperwork says it’s supposed to lower pain levels and frequencies not turn migraines off. I was thrilled. It does more than promised for me. I went about a month without a migraine that I needed my prescription medications for. When I got a migraine it would be closer to a 1,2 or 3 on a 10 point pain scale. This is so manageable for me that I could continue working and living and people closest to me didn’t even notice I had a migraine. The next month I had more migraines but hit tons of triggers. But, the Cefaly headband lowered the pain to very tolerable levels. I’ve never missed a day of wearing the headband. It came in a hard travel case. I’ve called my doctor and told him to recommend it to others in similar situations. It was a doctor friend that told me he had patients with success with the Cefaly headband.
The best prescription medicine for me has been Frova. The best over the counter for my combination migraine types has been a combination of Alleve and Excederin Migraine. Most of the other prescription migraine drugs worked somewhat and made me sleep for 12 hours straight. Frova helps me usually within 30 minutes and I can stay at work. Several years ago I quit work to get my migraines under control. I’ve had the best luck before Cefaly with cranial sacral massage, tens unit that clips to my earlobes, ice and the chiropractor. Tracking my triggers was the best free advice ever. My main triggers include: altitude changes, barometric pressure changes, stress, hormones- mainly things I can’t avoid.
My Cefaly cost about $300 US Dollars. It was easy for me to get a Cefaly prescription because my doctors had seen me suffering with migraines for years. For me, the Cefaly was worth thousands. The Cefaly directions say will cause drowsiness. I wear it for 20 minutes right before bed. I’m sleeping better and waking up rarely. Helped two problems and allowed me to get lots of drugs out of my system that were causing other unwanted side effects. I used to spend a couple hundred dollars a week on migraine medicines alone so it was a small risk for me that I recovered in the first few weeks.
It can be painful especially at about the 13 minute mark into 20 minute routine. My husband has seen it shake my eyebrows when it was squeezing my forehead so tight. But, migraines are worse, last longer than 20 minutes, and I never knew when they were coming. I can plan the time of night to use my cefaly and lower future pain on other days. I can feel when it’s time to change the electrode holder that sticks to my forehead because it hurts more than usual.
If your situation sounds like mine, I’d highly recommend trying it.
November 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm #57829
I’m so glad that I found your website. I’ve been searching for info on Cephaly because I’m on preventative medication for migraine that is wreaking havoc with my body. I’ve had migraine for more than 50 years and it looks like there is no hope of me ever seeing the end of them. While I don’t have chronic migraine, the few I do have every month last more than 2-3 days and leave me drained. The older I get, the longer to takes me to bounce back to my “normal” self and the preventative medication is depriving me of sleep, vocabulary, mental focus and vision – which, at my age, makes you look like a doddering old biddy and I’m really not there yet! It’s also sucking all the moisture out of my aging body, giving me more wrinkles than I really want or should have. I’ve read about Cephaly and, regardless of the cost, I would really like to try it.
Imitrex is my migraine killer and it works well if I take it in time. Over-the-counter medication has never worked for me and prior preventative meds have only worked for short periods of time. I’ve always thought that my migraine brain found ways around the meds. If I could “zap” my circuits into submission, maybe I could get some relief.
Thanks for all the comments regarding Cephaly. I have an appt with my near this coming week. Let’s hope he’s open to something like this.
November 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm #57865
I know just how you feel. I have had Migraines for over 27 years. My friends and family really do not understand migraines. The pain is intolerable. I had all but given up. I used to get them 2-3 times a month. But in the last 10 years, 2 times a week. Nothing worked for me except Amerge, which is a longer acting stronger version of Imitrex. I have tried everything except Botox. While not an affordable treatment for me, it has more success with tension type headaches which I do not have.
Well, the Amerge stopped working and I went to see yet another neurologist only to answer his 120 questions like, have you tried this or that? Just one week before I saw him I discovered the Cefaly device and ordered it from Cefalyusa. com. I ordered extra electrodes and a tube of surgical adhesive from Amazon thanks to other members of this site and their valued advice.
I am on my second month and the intensity is reduced and I can also take one Amerge or other Tryptans (samples, if I can get them)and usually within 4-6 hours I function enough to get out of bed. I am hoping that in another month I will be even better. It is definitely worth it to have even a semi-normal lifestyle. My medications alone per month cost the amount of the device. Please Cefaly, do not raise your prices if you read this.
By the way, any primary Doctor can write a script for this device. I did not really ask, I told my PCP that I MUST have this device and it took her 2 weeks, to write it, but I got it and scanned it into my PC and emailed it to the company.
Don’t be surprised when you first use it. It can be quite uncomfortable. For me, it depends on my brain chemistry at that particular time of day. Sometimes it is awful and I can’t wait for the 20 minute timer to ring. Other times, it is not too bad. I use it before I go to sleep while siting up in my recliner. I can not move or even blink during the treatment, it is too painful for me. The first 2 weeks I had residual pain all over my head. Just goes to show you how messed up our poor ‘migraine brains’ must be from this awful condition for so many years.
I recently accidentally broke my foot, so I am sure I am a really pretty picture hobbling around with my big black boot, limping to my chair then wearing my ‘super hero’ silver band while watching the late night ” news “. Unfortunately, I can not take pain meds (all kinds of allergies) But I suppose I am toughened from all that head pain, or maybe worse for it.
I wish you well, and give it a chance!
December 1, 2014 at 1:08 pm #57987
Here’s an update from me to say that while I still have not noticed a significant lessening in headache days overall, my headaches have been less intense when I get them for the most part (exceptions always have reasons, like my period or a particularly bad storm or a night when I could not sleep well). The typical semi daily migraines are much more manageable, whether due to the Botox, the Cefaly, some of the vitamins and minerals I have added, or all of them combined. But I am spending way more days feeling functional than miserable and its a good feeling.
I still love the Cefaly most of all for the migraine control. For the prevention its just another tool in the toolbox and I can’t tell which tool is the best tool, but for control when I do get a headache I just love it. I use it sometimes to avoid abortives/rescues, when I’ve decided to ‘tough it out’ and go the route of a hot bath and some lavender oil/Biofreeze on the neck, and then put the Cefaly on and turn it to the ‘abort’ setting (I am a lucky girl who got a European model, though if my head feels tender I sometimes use the preventative setting for this too, so it could help in this way for the US models as well I think). The stimulation and pressure can feel uncomfortable at first, but once I get used to it it provides relief. It almost reminds me of the ‘deep effleurage’ techniques they taught in childbirth classes…how one stimulation would distract the nerves from the other pain stimulation. Sure it might make your forehead tingle a lot, but focus on that and you forget the throb in your temple/everywhere else for a while. Sometimes the relief only lasts as long as the device’s cycle, but sometimes it ends up significantly relaxing the headache.
I also use it when I have a nasty headache and have decided to go ahead and use my abortives. In this case, one or two cycles is all it takes to soothe and relax until the medicine kicks in, and can often be sure that the Zomig actually works fully rather than only dulling the pain.
One extra note, be careful! These things are delicate! I once dropped mine very lightly, just from lifting it from my forehead to my lap, and the battery case won’t close all the way anymore. Nothing some tape won’t fix, but it was still a shame to damage something so pricey and precious.
Good luck everybody!
December 28, 2014 at 6:19 pm #59004
I had a BAD experience with Cefaly right from the beginning. I used the preventative program for 20 minutes as directed. It was rather uncomfortable but I tolerated it. After the session, I was very dizzy, was slurring and had trouble hearing (my husband said I was shouting). I had a more increasing feeling of intense pressure in my forehead that spread to the back of my head. The next day I woke up with intense vertigo that got so bad I was unable to walk. My whole forehead, temples and scalp area was sensitized and was aching from burning pain – this is on top of the ongoing pressure. I never had these as migraine symptoms. Took a couple of days before the symptoms resolved. Sounds like Cefaly irritated the nerves even more. Obviously, I’ll be returning the device.
I think the manufacturer is making inflated claims – these side effects were significant and incapacitating, yet not listed.
I wonder if it would be a good idea to start a survey on this site regarding effectiveness, side effects and what type of migraine was the device used for. The manufacturer had very small studies that I would not consider reliable.
January 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm #59295
I seldom interact on forums, but do want to let the community know that I have had success with Cefaly (one setting, US-approved). I have been using it almost daily since mid-July. I can almost not believe the results: I averaged 14 headache days a month pre-Cefaly. As of this writing, I am averaging 5 days a month, and recently, had two months with only 2 headache days. Fingers crossed, this will continue to be my experience!
My migraine trigger is the weather, documented over many, many years of tracing daily atmospheric pressure changes in conjunction with migraine symptoms. The weather patterns here in Florida have not changed; previously, when the pressure rises or falls at least .01 per hour (altimiter readings available on the NOAA website at our local airport) for several straight hours, I ALWAYS developed a migraine. I could tell that the weather was changing even in my windowless office. Now, I go many days headache-free, despite the relentless rise or fall of barometric pressure. I still react to deep, strong weather fronts coming through, but even then, the severity level is much reduced (2-4 rather than 6-7). I don’t run out of sumatriptan anymore in between refills, and in fact have amassed a surplus!
I find the tingling sensation of the device to be soothing, and have been known to fall asleep with it on. I have a personal theory that the stimulation is sort of like weight-lifting or other regular exercise for the super-sensitive trigeminal nerves that somehow react to barometric pressure. Now, post-Cefaly, it takes a lot more atmospheric activity to put the nerves into over-drive. As I sit here today, a beautiful sunny day turned grey and now rainy; the pressure fell .01 every hour for 6 hours straight. Pre-Cefaly, it would have been a guaranteed migraine of many hours’ duration. Today, I didn’t know the pressure was changing until I came out of the windowless office into a rainy afternoon.
From my personal experience, I would recommend the Cefaly to anyone whose trigger is weather. Incidentally, I took my results and the device to my neurologist, who had been following me on this with interest. He was so excited that he showed it to his colleagues and they thought they might purchase a few devices that they could then provide to their patients to try before forking over $$$ to buy one. You might ask your neurologist if she/he would be willing to try that, as well.
January 22, 2015 at 10:49 am #59733
sjmont1962, my main migraine trigger also is the weather, although we live in South Dakota rather than in Florida. I have a couple of food sensitivities and intense odors can immediately trigger a headache. I can always tell when the weather is going to change about 24 hours in advance, and spring and fall used to be my worst migraine times. A fellow migraineur says the weather has turned bipolar and I think that’s an accurate description.
Now, however, my migraines numbers have zoomed upward. I got a Cefaly (the US kind) in mid-October and at first migraine intensity and frequency were lowered. I discovered that if I missed a day of Cefaly treatment, I would get a migraine the next day. But December was horrible with 23 migraines and January isn’t much better with 16 so far. But December is always bad with the pressures of Christmas.
I’m going to use Cefaly for the next several months and see how the long-term effects go for me.
And thank you, everyone, for all the postings. Getting different points of view, opinions, learning about the differences between European- and US-made Cefaly units–this is all valuable. It’s especially great to know we’re not alone.
February 5, 2015 at 10:53 pm #60535
I just started using my Cefaly (US version) for about 2 weeks now. I am personally having amazing results. I use it right before I go to sleep and it allows me a really good night’s sleep. This week I have been doing a lot of traveling in the car with my husband, short trips with a lot of stop and go and my husband’s usual tailgating which would normally give me a migraine guaranteed. NO MIGRAINES, NOT EVEN A HINT. I am so excited about it so far and will keep you posted. At first I thought it was a little uncomfortable when it’s at it’s deepest stage, but now I get mesmerized by the massaging feeling and end of falling asleep every time. When it stops it wakes me up and then I take it off and go back to sleep. I really look forward to my session with Cephaly, it’s not a chore or anything I dread, especially knowing that it’s making me feel so wonderful. I haven’t had to take an Imitrex yet. If I go 6 weeks without a migraine, I’ll be shouting from the rooftops and telling every person I can find about this little machine. I am normally a chronic migraineur.
February 6, 2015 at 1:14 pm #60544
Hi all. I bought a Cefaly with the three settings through the help of an Australian friend. It seemed to help but I since changed my diet and retired so I am rarely getting migraines anymore. I used my Cefaly about 4 to 6 times and have extra electrodes if anyone is interested in buying my device.
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