Free online migraine consultations.
Chronic migraines can have a debilitating effect on people’s lives. Chronic migraine is a distinct and severe neurological disorder, and many chronic migraine sufferers find themselves navigating the healthcare system without an appropriate diagnosis and/or treatment plan. They miss work and school, and spend less quality time with their family and friends. We have treatment options that can help those struggling with chronic migraines get back to living their lives to the fullest.
Our expert team of doctors and pharmacists have years of experience in successfully helping people with chronic migraines find the treatment plan that provides the best migraine relief. Our goal is to design an individualized program that is effective, has minimal side effects, and reduces reliance on painkillers. Whether it's a review of your medications, or determining your eligibility for Botox treatment, we can help.
How does it work?
Your initial assessment will be with one of our pharmacists specialized in chronic migraine pain management.
During your assessment, we will:
- review your chronic migraine medication history
- discuss your concerns and/or issues with your existing treatment plan
- determine your eligibility for Botox for Chronic Migraine Treatment (if applicable)
- discuss other potential go-forward strategies for your treatment
- assist with your appointment booking at recommended clinics, or other next steps, to ensure you're on the best chronic migraine management path
What are the treatment options for chronic migraine?
Great question. Chronic migraine is a distinct and severe neurological disorder. Those with fewer migraines than 15 a month are considered to have episodic (occasional) migraines. If you have the following, you are likely experiencing chronic migraines:
- 15+ migraines per month, now or before you started medication
- Migraine symptoms that last 4+ hours on at least 8 days per month
- You've experienced the above for 3+ months
With chronic pain, it's important to assess each individual's needs and take into account medical history, previously-tried treatments, and wellness goals. We're committed to finding a treatment plan that works for your lifestyle, and will ultimately help you feel better.
Expert-Managed Medication Program
Our expert team of doctors and pharmacists have years of experience in successfully helping people with chronic migraines find medication that provides the best migraine relief. Our goal is to design an individualized medication program that is effective, has minimal side effects, and reduces reliance on painkillers. Most migraine drug therapies fall into one of three classes of medication:
- Instant Relief: OTC pain medications that are taken at the first signs of a migraine to reduce the headache component.
- Acute: Prescribed (?) medications taken to stop a migraine that has already started.
- Preventative: Medications that are taken on a regular schedule (usually daily) to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.
We consider your whole medical history, as well as the medications and supplements you are currently on when developing your Treatment Program.
Your provincial healthcare covers your initial doctor consultation. The coverage of the prescribed medication depends on your private insurance plan.
Botox Treatment for Chronic Migraine
In 2011, Health Canada approved Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) as a safe and effective therapy for chronic migraines. The treatment involves injecting Botox into the shallow muscles of the head and neck to prevent muscle spasms, block the triggering of pain impulses, and inactivate headache generating signals produced by the brain during a migraine.
Botox can significantly reduce the number of migraines you get each month. It also helps to decrease the severity of migraine symptoms, such as pain, nausea, and light sensitivity. In most cases, Botox therapy is compatible with other drug therapies and has the added benefit of reducing the amount of medication you need to take to manage your migraines.
If you qualify, treatment will be preceded by a comprehensive consultation and assessment by the physician who will ultimately administer the injections. Our physicians are experts in the use of Botox for migraines, as well as the overall management of migraines.
If you have insurance coverage, you will pay $75 for your initial assessment and $150 per treatment visit. Approximately 95% of private insurance plans will cover the cost of the Botox.
Frequently asked questions
- How are chronic migraines typically treated? Traditionally episodic and chronic migraines have been treated the same way. There are three conventional drug therapy methods: Instant Relief (Pain medications that are taken at the first signs of a migraine to reduce the headache component); Acute (Prescription medications taken to stop a migraine that has already started); and Preventative (Medications that are taken on a regular schedule to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines).
- What lifestyle changes can I make to help my migraines? We stand by the following Mayo Clinic recommendations: Medication is a proven way to treat — and prevent — migraines, but medication is only part of the story; Find a calm environment; Sleep well; Eat wisely; Exercise regularly; Manage stress; Keep a migraine diary; and Strive for balance. Living with migraines is a daily challenge. But making healthy lifestyle choices can help. Ask your friends and loved ones for support. If you're feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counselling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain.
- Do I need a referral from my doctor to get Botox treatment? Not with StopMigraine.ca, where our physicians performing the treatment are family doctors. You only need to meet the requirements to be eligible. You must: Be 18+ years old; Get 15+ migraines a month; Have tried two drug prophylactic (preventative) treatments without success; and Not currently be pregnant or breast-feeding.
- How much does Botox treatment for chronic migraine cost? If you have insurance coverage, you will only pay the Physician Service Fee. It will cost you $75 for your initial assessment and $150 per treatment visit – your insurance plan will cover the cost of the Botox. Most plans provide this coverage as long as you do meet the eligibility requirements, which your StopMigraine.ca physician will review prior to starting treatment. You will need to bring an insurance approval form with you to your first Botox appointment, which we will help you with during your free phone assessment. If you do not have insurance coverage, this service costs $800 per treatment.
- Is Botox treatment for migraines approved by Health Canada? Yes, Health Canada has approved Botox treatment as a safe and effective for chronic migraines when the eligibility criteria is met.
- Where can I find my Botox for chronic migraine pre-approval insurance form? It depends on your insurance provider. You can sometimes find them on their website or your member portal. Either way, we will point you in the right direction during your free phone assessment and ensure you have everything you need prior to starting treatment.
- What if I don't think I need Botox treatment, but am still unhappy with my treatment plan? Book your free phone assessment with us and we will review your current treatment strategies. Start – if you haven't already – keeping a migraine diary. Our goal is to help you feel better by using treatment methods and other strategies that fit your lifestyle.
This is a DrugSmart-certified service.
This service and its associated providers meet the standards set out in the DrugSmart Pharmacy Commitment to Care. All decisions and processes are guided by these five core principles:
- Transparent. Be open, be kind, be honest.
- Bright. Be positive, be creative, be innovative.
- Driven. Never be satisfied. Always strive to be better.
- Service above all else. Be a champion for your customers, your patients, and your colleagues.
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Should you ever have an experience with a DrugSmart team member or service that doesn't meet the above Commitment to Care standards, please let us know.
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