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GammaCore Experience

I wanted to post my 6-month experience with the GammaCore neuromodulator device in hopes that it might help others who are considering it.

I used the GammaCore Sapphire (second gen device) and it has helped me manage my chronic daily migraines (11 years and counting!), and use less rescue medicine.

There is a theory that GammaCore offers both an abortive and a cumulative effect. In my experience, that’s true.

I found that to abort an attack or at least render the migraine’s ferocity to a level where I could continue to function, I had to use the device at the very beginning of the attack. For me, however, the device’s real value is in what I have experienced as its cumulative effect. I was able to manage my migraines with the least amount of rescue meds in that 6-month period than I had been able to do for YEARS. Migraines that did come were less intense.

Currently I am fighting my insurance company to cover the device. I had it for 6 months free, but that program ended in early Dec. 2019, and I have been without it since then. During that period I have found myself resorting to my abortive meds more often; just in the last 10 days multiple times per day. That is an untenable situation for many reasons.

It is certainly worth trying if your doctor will prescribe it, and you can manage to afford it. I think it is especially valuable for those of us with chronic migraine who have failed all other preventative medications.

I would love to hear other migraineurs’ experience with GammaCore.

  1. katetyndall, thank you for sharing your experience with the community! I hear what a difference the GammaCore neurotransmitter has been making for you, both abortively and cumulatively. It is rotten you've had to give it back while you fight with the insurance company. I hope with the help of your doctor you are able to prove medical necessity and be provided with one long-term. It is awful to find a treatment that is making a difference in your migraine management and then be forced to give it back/go without it. I hope others in the community will share their experiences with a neurotransmitter device with you as well! Please keep us posted on the insurance saga. Fingers crossed you will be approved for the device again soon! Wishing you a gentle day. ~Allyson (Migraine.com team)

    1. I was able to get coverage, but it sure took some doing, Kerrie. Thank you for reaching out!

      Now I’m in the thick of battling for coverage again, since I went on Medicare this month. It’s ironic I got your message today, when I spent a total of 3 hours on the phone this afternoon with Medicare and the specialty pharmacy that supplies the device.I only wish I got paid to negotiate with insurers.

      I don’t have the mental bandwidth to go into it right now, but later I will post about what it takes to get coverage for GammaCore through Medicare. At this point, I don’t know if they will cover it, but I have met all their criteria. Apparently I and a handful of others are test cases for getting Medicare to cover GammaCore under Part B, Durable Medical Equipment. Right now, all our applications are in a holding pattern. I should mention that the pharmacy, the only supplier approved by the manufacturer to provide the device, has been extremely helpful.

      I should know within a week. If denied, there is one further appeals route, but it seems to be an arduous one, according to the very kind Medicare rep (some are great, others, not so much; you just have to keep calling) I spoke with late this afternoon. I hope I don’t have to go that route. To be continued...

    2. Katetyndall,

      Thanks for the update! I'm sorry you're having to go through this all over again. My fingers are crossed that you're able to get Medicare coverage. Best wishes.

      Take care,
      Kerrie (Migraine.com contributor and moderator)

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