Trial and Error

Yesterday, I had an appointment at the Headache Clinic at Dartmouth. I discussed with my neurologist how this last round of Botox did not seem like it was effective at all. I knew there would come a point when Botox would no longer work, but I expected it to be years down the road, but since I had that abscessed tooth that triggered my trigeminal neuralgia, it hasn’t been able to be as effective as it was when I had the first treatments. My neurologist said that sometimes they have to do a reset on the Botox, i.e. step away from it for a few months and try something different, possibly going back to it in the future. She told me a long time ago that migraine treatments are a lot of trial and error.

For now, she increased the dosage of one of my medicines, and she wants me to try a new treatment called Vyepti. It is CGRP drug along the lines of Emgality or Aimovig, both of which I’ve tried. Emgality was moderately effective and cut my migraine days in half, but my neurologist didn’t think that was effective enough since I basically have daily migraines. When I tried the Aimovig, not only did it not prevent a single migraine, but the side effects were awful. Vyepti is similar to Emgality but not Aimovig. Also, Vyepti has been proven more effective in people who had moderate success with Emgality, plus it has relatively few side effects.

There’s two drawbacks: the method of delivery and expense. The drug can only be given through an IV, which takes about an hour, and it must be done at the hospital. Around here, that can only be done at Dartmouth. While the drug manufacturer has a cost savings program, it’s only for the medicine, not the cost of administering the medication. The Botox cost saving program reimbursed me for all costs associated with the Botox and its administration, which together is over $6600 before insurance. Furthermore, my insurance doesn’t cover this new treatment, but I’m sure they will after my neurologist appeals it. My insurance company denies everything, but Dartmouth has always been successful in their appeals.

The first administration of this new treatment is scheduled for August 1. *Fingers crossed* it works. I’ll let you know.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

One response to “Trial and Error

  • Michael

    I’ve had a few migraines in the past that were debilitating. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have them on a daily basis. I hope the new medication works for you and that you get some relief.

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