Down the Rabbit Hole of Preventatives
When most people are diagnosed with chronic migraines, their doctor will seek out preventative medications to try in an effort to reduce the frequency of the migraine occurrences. There are a lot of medications that are used for migraine prevention. Unfortunately, they are pretty much all off label uses of other medications such as antidepressants or antiseizure medications.
I am going on ten years of chronic daily migraines. Like most chronic migraine patients, I have tried more migraine preventative medications than I can honestly count or remember off hand. I have a document that I keep updated with all the medications that I have tried. This helps me inform doctors of what I have tried so they do not have to list off stuff in order for me to remember if I have tried that medication or not.
Being forced off Botox
After years of trying medication after medication and not having any lasting positive result from all of the different medications, we gave up on using preventative medications. The only thing the doctor I was seeing could suggest was to find a doctor that was able to preform Botox injections for migraines. At the time, there were not many doctors in our area who performed Botox. This resulted in me finding a doctor to perform the Botox injections that I needed but that I did not personally like very much.
Despite not personally liking her much, I kept up with the Botox injections until this year when I had to switch to my husband’s insurance. His insurance is just completely denying the Botox regardless of how much proof we submitted to them. Unfortunately, after months and months it seems like they are not going to change their mind about covering the Botox.
So I am back to trying the preventative pills once again. One has had no effect for me and another has actually made the daily migraines worse instead of better. This to me is the nightmare of going down this rabbit hole of migraine preventatives. These preventatives have a range of side effects than can really mess with you and this can definitely add to the issues that individuals with chronic migraine already have to deal with on a daily basis. All we can really hope for is that the insurance companies will decide to cover the recently approved CGRP treatment for us chronic migraine suffers; without insurance coverage it looks to cost roughly $600-700 a month.
Unfortunately, the insurance companies inadvertently complicate treatment options by restricting what treatments and or medications they will cover for seemingly arbitrary reasons. It does not seem to matter that a given medication or treatment may have a proven history of success. In this sense, the rabbit hole simply runs deeper and deeper because insurance companies do not want to pay for unnecessary emergency room visits but then also don’t want to cover medications that could potentially prevent the emergency room visits to start with.
What are your thoughts? Do any of you struggle with preventive medications that don’t seem to prevent anything?
How much has your migraine disease changed or evolved over time?