Cefaly Device for Migraine: An Honest Review

Cefaly Device for Migraine: An Honest Review
Photo by Anthony Tran / Unsplash

Like many other migraineurs, I've tried many medications, devices, and tricks in the hopes that I can ease the pain of my migraines. One late night upon another migraine attack, I was reading up on new methods to try and prevent and treat migraines when I came across Cefaly.

Cefaly Dual Enhanced: $389.00

What is Cefaly for Migraine?

Cefaly for Migraine is a physical device that sits on your forehead that stimulates your trigeminal nerve. Cefaly Dual has two modes, one mode for daily preventative use and a stronger abortive mode meant to be used in the midst of a migraine.

How does the Cefaly device work?

Using an electrode that sticks to your forehead, Cefaly connects via magnet and sits on top your forehead and stimulates your trigeminal nerve.

Does Cefaly require a prescription?

Not anymore, Cefaly is FDA approved and does not require a prescription.

Benefits and Reasons to Buy Cefaly

The biggest benefit to using Cefaly is its non-invasive quality. Many people who suffer with migraines take abortive medication such as triptans, which are hugely beneficial. However, the downside to triptans is that they're only allowed to be taken 9 times out of every month. While this may be plenty for some, for those with chronic or stubborn migraines, this can present problems with medication overuse and can cause rebound migraines.

With Cefaly, this device can be used daily and can also be used when having an active attack, making it a great complement for migraine prevention and treatment.

Benefits in summary:

  • One time price (minus the electrodes)
  • Little risk of over-using the product
  • Don't have to worry about rebound headaches
  • Little to no side effects

Disadvantages and Reasons to Avoid Cefaly

Now that I've mentioned the positive side, let's talk about the negatives. While Cefaly describes using the product as producing a "slight tingly sensation", it's more akin to attaching a hive of bees to your forehead. While it did provide some relief for me, I was never able to receive the full benefits due to the uncomfortable sensation. I can handle some intense buzzing, but once my eyebrows and eyelids started twitching I was not able to continue.

The device does allow you to work your way up slowly through the different levels of stimulation, but sadly I was never able to reach even half of the full capacity. This is, in addition to the extremely uncomfortable sensation of having an active migraine attack. Additionally, you do have to keep track of buying electrodes after they wear out. Cefaly also recommends laying down for 20 minutes every night to receive the full benefits. This sounds like not that much to ask for migraine relief, but I did however find myself struggling to find the time to make space for and stay stagnant for that amount of time.

Disadvantages in summary:

  • Sensation can be extremely uncomfortable
  • Have to buy replacement electrodes after a few uses
  • Have to stay stagnant while using the product

Should you Buy the Cefaly Dual Enhanced?

Even though I was not able to handle the sensation of buzzing, I still appreciate the fact that I can rely on the device if need be. I appreciate that these are hard to overuse and they diminish the risk of experiencing medication-overuse headaches and migraines. While I'm saddened the sensation was too much for me, the Cefaly has provided relief for a lot of migraine sufferers. The only real risks here are the price.

If you're new to the world of migraine relief, I'd say to go the route of contacting a doctor or using a service like Cove to receive a recommendation before trying a device like this. If the choice is between prescription migraine medication and the Cefaly, my migraine medication costs me $30 a month without insurance and is well worth it and extremely effective. If you're looking for additional relief on top of your existing treatment plan and are not shy about spending the money, I'd say it's certainly worth a try!