Botox and Ajovy; A One-Two Punch
I received my first Botox injections in June of 2018 after jumping through all kinds of hoops to get it approved. I had no expectations for the first round of shots, partly because it has been a challenge to treat my chronic, intractable migraine. I was optimistic and, as ever, hopeful. In December of 2018, I received my first dose of the CGRP drug Ajovy. I was more excited about Ajovy than Botox, and I prayed I would not be in the twenty percent group of people that the drug did not work effectively. I was happy to find out that with a copay card, the Ajovy shots would be free to fill!
What did the Botox injections feel like?
To break down my experience with Botox and Ajovy, I’m going to start with Botox since that was the beginning of this journey. As I said, I have been suffering from chronic, intractable migraine for months, and I was desperate for some relief from the unrelenting cycle of migraine. The injections were really easy to take as the neurologist administered them. There was a slight pinching sensation I felt as he did the injections around my scalp and forehead. I didn’t feel the injections in my neck and shoulders at all, but I will warn you about getting the injections during a migraine attack. I did this once, and the pain was beyond excruciating. I was out for the entire day with ice packs strapped to my head, hiding in my darkened room as I tried to ride out the intense attack the injections brought on.
Did Botox help with my migraine pain?
I continued getting the shots every three months. I did notice improvement of my neck pain, as well as the fatigue across my shoulders, had improved thanks to Botox. My headaches, however, refused to relent.
How was my first Ajovy shot?
I received my first Ajovy shot from the neurologist in December 2018. I was happy to have it but also felt a bit nervous. I wondered what I would experience. Would I see awesome results, or would this just become another failed therapy for me? I wasted no time and immediately gave myself the injection after returning home from the appointment. It was relatively painless, and I had no adverse reactions that I could see.
Did Ajovy work for me?
It was about five days after the injection that I noticed my headache pain intensity was starting to diffuse. It was like dropping a drop of food coloring into a glass of water. The pain wasn’t as potent any longer. I breathed a sigh of relief. Over the next four months of injections, I noticed a bit more improvement in the pain intensity. Unfortunately, most of the other baggage from migraine hung on like allodynia, aphasia, tinnitus, and insomnia. That being said, I would have done this again, knowing what I know now. The relief in the pain was worth getting the shot. I still have bad days, but they are more manageable now, and I’m grateful for that!
Where have insurance barriers left me?
Botox and Ajovy together worked well, in my opinion. I don’t know if any of the other CGRP drugs such as Emgality or Aimovig would have yielded the same results, but I’d be interested to know. I felt very fortunate to have been able to use the combined therapy of Botox and Ajovy. I had to discontinue both in May of 2019 due to a lapse in our insurance benefits, but as of September 2019, I am still enjoying the reduced pain from my attacks. I do plan on trying to get back to Ajovy and Botox now that our insurance issues have been resolved.
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