If you suffer from migraines, you know that crippling migraine pain can put a serious wrench in your day. These are far from your average headaches, and they take a toll on a billion people across the globe. Cove, a new telemedicine startup, aims to help migraine sufferers with FDA approved medicines and online doctor consultations. But do Cove’s migraine treatments actually work? And what do they cost?
One billion (with a “B”) people are impacted by migraines worldwide, and almost 40 million in the US alone according to the Migraine Research Foundation. With so many sufferers among us, you’d expect migraine treatment to be widely available, right? Unfortunately no, there traditionally weren’t any specific migraine meds, just generic over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen.
Enter Cove. The migraine treatment startup made a splash in 2018 for making holistic migraine symptom management as easy as any other online subscriptions. That means personalized treatment plans, affordable meds delivered straight to your door, and virtual access to doctors — all specifically to help you prevent and treat chronic migraines.
Ready to hear more? Let’s get on with our review of this award-winning and first-of-a-kind migraine relief startup.
What treatments does Cove offer for migraine relief?
As the only telemedicine company dedicated to providing holistic migraine relief to patients — including prevention — Cove is paving the way for a world with better migraine care.
The company aims to provide virtual care for men and women over age 18 in the majority of the United States by using the latest in telemedicine technology.
Cove’s acute migraine treatments
Acute treatment is also called abortive treatment, and it’s designed for use once a migraine attack has already started. The goal of taking acute meds is to stop migraine symptoms in their tracks.
Acute medications work to provide pain relief in different ways. Cove offers clinically-proven acute medications that target pain and other symptoms in different ways. These medications fall into three main categories:
- NSAIDs are anti-inflammatory drugs that work to relieve migraine pain and promote healthy circulation.
- Triptan works to increase serotonin levels in the brain while lowering inflammation and constricting blood vessels.
- Anti-nausea medications are the third type of acute migraine treatment. These are add-on medications that can help reduce nausea and vomiting during a severe migraine attack.
Cove’s treatments for migraine prevention
Preventative migraine medications are taken consistently to lower your chances of getting a migraine in the first place. This type of treatment may also help to decrease the severity of migraines that you experience.
Preventative treatment is typically recommended for people with severe or recurrent migraines that aren’t effectively treated with acute meds. A Cove doctor will determine if preventative treatment is right for you.
There are three main types of preventative medication available on Cove:
Beta-blockers reduce blood vessel dilatation (swelling); since this vessel swelling is implicated in migraines, the impact of beta-blockers is to reduce or prevent migraines.
Antidepressants promote healthy serotonin levels in the body. Since serotonin levels drop dramatically during a migraine, antidepressants can help keep migraines at bay.
Anticonvulsants work to steady overactive nerves in the brain. While these meds are typically used to treat seizures, they’ve also been proved to work in the treatment of migraines.
Remember that regardless which treatments you get, with Cove as your expert team of migraine specialists, you won’t have to wait in pharmacy checkout lines — or even leave the house, for that matter — to get the medications that you need.
The best part, in our opinion, is that they offer ongoing access to licensed doctors. This means that you’ll get all of your migraine questions answered as things change without having to trek to the doctor’s office each time.
Like most popular telemedicine providers, Cove provides access to background-checked, state-licensed doctors — all without waiting rooms, lunch-hour doctor’s appointments, and surprise co-pays. In our humble opinion, that’s something to celebrate, not to mention the fact that there’s a telemedicine startup dedicated exclusively to improving migraine relief and prevention! What a time to be alive.
Pausing here for a bit of background on Migraine
Migraine is a debilitating condition that impacts one in seven people globally. In fact, it’s the third most common disease in the world, making accessibility to effective migraine medication all the more crucial.
And if you suffer from them, you know that migraines aren’t like regular headaches. They involve more severe symptoms and can impact your ability to get through your regular routine. Also, severe, recurring ones are a lot harder to effectively treat with over-the-counter medications. Personalized treatment plans, like those offered with Cove, are usually needed to help migraine sufferers manage their symptoms.
What causes migraines, anyway?
Truthfully, scientists aren’t totally sure what causes migraines. But, they have identified a variety of migraine triggers that can take you from happy-go-lucky to crippling head pain. Interestingly, these triggers can vary from person to person. So, while you may be able to commiserate over symptoms with a friend or family member, it’s possible that triggers are completely different. Weird, right?
Common migraine triggers include:
- Emotional and physical stress
- Lifestyle changes (such as changes to your sleep schedule or exercise routine)
- Diet (not only what you’re eating, but also how much)
- Alcohol and caffeine consumption
- Sensory overload (including bright or flashing lights, loud sounds, and strong smells)
- Changes in weather (usually when a storm or cold front is coming in)
- Migraine medication overuse
Does that last trigger have you doing a double-take? It’s true: taking migraine medication too often can give you “rebound headaches”, or “medication overuse headaches”. Thankfully, this type of condition can be avoided with the right treatment plan, which their expert team will help you find.
Are there any side effects from Cove’s migraine meds?
It’s important to note that these are real medicines that can have side effects. So you’ll want to consult with the doctor, and make sure you understand what to look out for. We won’t list all of the possible side effects here, so again, take advantage of the telemedicine doctor visit!
And make sure you are open and honest during your online doctor visit about your medical conditions.
The visit itself is low-stress and very easy; in fact, you probably won’t have to actually talk to anyone, you are likely to be able to complete it via an online questionnaire. So be honest and help the physician pick the right plan for you.
Getting started with Cove: Three-step process
You can get started as a Cove subscriber for a personalized, holistic treatment plan in just three steps:
- Choose Your Plan – Start by selecting a migraine medication that you already know works for you. Or, talk to one of the doctors on their team to determine treatment options for your needs.
- Finish An Online Consultation – Next, you’ll complete a virtual consultation with a Cove doctor to ensure that your treatment plan is right for you. If the doctor decides that Cove isn’t the right provider for your needs, you’ll receive a full refund.
- Start Your Treatment – Once your treatment plan has been given the thumbs-up by one of their doctors, your FDA-approved meds will be delivered straight to your door. No pharmacy lines, no hassle, no headaches!
Can I update my Cove migraine prescription as symptoms change?
Migraines can be an unpredictable and mysterious condition, so it’s important to have the flexibility to switch your medications. So, while Cove is a monthly subscription service, you can easily switch your treatment plan at any time.
After a few weeks have passed from the start of your Cove treatment, you’ll be contacted on their secure patient portal by the Customer Care team. They’ll want to review how your treatment is working and check in to see how you are feeling. If you need adjustments to your meds or have any questions, the Customer Care team can arrange for a doctor to consult with you and help you find a different combination of medicines.
As a Cove user, you’ll have fast, easy access to doctors who will listen to your concerns and make appropriate changes to your treatment plan. Access to doctors is available for the entire duration of your time as one of their patients, not just within the first few weeks.
So, you can rest easy: your treatment plan isn’t locked in place, and you can change it as often as needed. Remember you don’t need to actually go to a doctor’s office, enabling you to review progress with a licensed specialist on a more frequent basis.
How personalized are Cove’s migraine treatment plans?
If you couldn’t already tell, Cove takes the job of finding your perfect treatment plan very seriously. To ensure that you’re on the most efficient path to recovery, their virtual patient portal includes tracking tools that patients can use to record their treatment experience. Doctors can review the tracking data and make recommendations based on your unique needs.
Cove Pricing: What do their migraine meds cost?
Cove users also pay a $4 monthly medical fee. This fee covers the monthly review of your medications and medical history by a licensed Cove doctor to ensure that you have the right treatment for your migraine needs. If you’re used to paying copays at your doctor’s office for this same service, we think you’ll agree that $4 is a total steal.
With Cove, you can get ongoing access to a licensed doctor for $15 per year. This means that you’ll be free to message your doctor as often as you’d like using our secure online portal for the full year. If you need a full doctor consultation, Cove charges just $15.