Last updated on October 25th, 2020 at 05:55 am
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 lower the impact of stress hormones on your blood vessels and heart. This lowers the frequency and severity of 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.
Cove’s Latest Migraine Treatment Release: Nerivio™️
In addition to the treatments (acute and preventative) that we just outlined, Cove recently started selling a new hardware product called Nerivio. Nerivio™️ is a therapeutic wearable developed by Cove in collaboration with Theranica. It’s a prescription treatment for acute migraines that’s designed to be worn on your arm. As a wearable device, rather than a medication or surgical implant, Nerivio™️ will help you manage migraine symptoms with greater ease and convenience. Just strap the device onto your arm and get back to your regular routine – Nerivio™️ will do the work of keeping migraine symptoms at bay.
Nerivio™️ was released in 2019, and the hype surrounding it grew almost instantly. In fact, it was voted the best invention of 2019 by Time magazine — that’s no small feat in today’s techie world! MD’s are becoming interested in using this device with their patients. For example, as quoted in the journal NeurologyLive, Amaal Starling, MD, said, “Based on the data, it has great potential for being an acute treatment for migraine attacks. It appears to be well tolerated and effective when treating a migraine attack early in the attack process.”
Thankfully, getting your hands on a Nerivio™ device is as easy as signing up for Cove online. It’s a simple, three-step process that we’ll dive into later on in this article. Normally $109, you can now save $30 off the device that comes with 12 migraine treatments.
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 migraine meds from Cove 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.
Does Cove take health insurance?
Cove is a completely self-pay service. Insurance isn’t accepted for medications or doctor consultations — at least not yet — so the prices listed on their website are what all users pay, period.
Certain migraine medications aren’t covered by health insurers, federal health care, or third party payers. Especially if you need one of these medications, Cove is one of the most affordable options at your disposal. With meds priced at $10 to $35 per month, you won’t find a much cheaper option for FDA-approved, clinically-proven medications.
Why do you need a migraine treatment subscription from Cove?
We all know what’s available on the shelf of your neighborhood pharmacy for migraine relief. Over-the-counter treatments mainly include pain killers for dulling migraine symptoms, including anti-inflammatory drugs, caffeine supplements, and analgesics.
So, why sign up for an online migraine treatment service instead of grabbing an OTC medication on your next errand run?
1. Easy access to licensed specialist. With Cove, you can message a licensed doctor at any time using their secure patient portal — no appointment needed. This takes the guessing game out of creating a migraine treatment plan. Contrastingly, if you opt to find an OTC migraine medication yourself, you don’t have individualized advice from a doctor to guide you. This can prolong the process of finding treatments that will work well for you.
2. Long-term, preventative treatment plans. Over-the-counter painkillers are typically designed for short-term use, not for use as a long-term solution. So, if you suffer from chronic migraines, a doctor-approved treatment plan is far safer in the long run. Your doctor will also be able to warn you about potential side effects and interactions with other meds that you’re taking. This also means you can start treating your condition proactively with preventative care, rather than just reactive symptom management.
3. Low prices without insurance hassle. With Cove, prescription migraine medications are affordable, ranging from $10 to $35 per month. If you suffer from migraines often, you likely spend almost the same amount at your local pharmacy. Plus, when you consider that Cove also offers medication delivery and unlimited doctor access for just $15 per year, Cove becomes a very affordable way to access better migraine meds.
4. Holistic treatment plans to avoid side effects. The medications that you’ll receive through Cove are doctor-prescribed and recommended for you based on your medical history and individual migraine symptoms. Your doctor will work with you to minimize side effects, which is a perk you’ll miss out on by opting for OTC medications. Plus, because you can ask questions online and virtually, it is easy to confer with your physician to adjust medications, treatments, and more. No more (painful!) weeks of waiting for an appointment.
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What are customers saying about Cove’s migraine Rx?
So, how is Cove doing as a direct-to-consumer migraine relief service? Here’s what a few customers have to say:
The primary recurring qualm that customers have with Cove is their somewhat limited range of medications that they have available. Note that Cove is always releasing new treatment options though (like Nerivio™️), and if they don’t offer the medication that works for you, Cove will fully refund the cost of your initial doctor consultation.
The Verdict: Does Cove work for chronic migraine relief?
We recommend Cove for any migraine sufferers seeking long-term symptom management. This online service is undeniably affordable, and the medications that it offers are both FDA-approved and clinically-proven to be effective.
If you have an existing (and effective) prescription for migraine treatment, it’s worth a shot to check and see if your medication(s) are available on Cove. You could save money on your prescription and avoid the expense of follow-up appointments with your doctor. With extra cash in your pocket, you could start saving for that stress-free (and migraine-free!) getaway you’ve been dreaming about during COVID.
Do you suffer from frequent or nauseating migraines? Let us know about your experience treating your symptoms in the comments below. What’s worked well for you to relief pain or prevent them from happening in the first place? If you’re suffering and looking for either preventative or acute migraine treatments, click below to get 60% off Cove!