Using the Spring TMS for Migraine - Oct., 2015, Update
Since I posted My Experience with Spring TMS for Migraine, I've heard from many other migraineurs who are very interested in the device, as well as whether and how well it works for me. Since I've now had my Spring unit for three months, it's time for my first update.
Acute Migraine Treatment:
It's exciting to report that the Spring has been working very well acutely - when I get a migraine. Since I received the Spring TMS device (sTMS), I've had 18 migraine attacks. Of those 18, 14 were aborted using the sTMS and no medications. For the other four migraines, the spring didn't abort the migraine, so I used my triptan (Axert). That means that the Spring has successfully aborted 77.79 percent of my migraine attacks. Although the Spring is FDA approved for migraine with aura, it has also aborted some attacks of migraine without aura. It's not as successful for me for migraine without aura, but it does work sometimes. My personal theory on the reason for this is that not having the aura means that I'm farthered into the migraine by the time I use the sTMS.
Preventive Migraine Treatment:
There are currently clinical trials underway to evaluate the Spring TMS for migraine prevention. I declined participating in one of these trials because it would have required me to stop getting Botox treatments. That felt too risky for me because when a preventive is working, and we stop using it, it may or may not work again if we go back to it. The month before my first Botox treatment, I had 25 migraine and headache days. With Botox, that number has been reduced to just six to eight days a month for some time now, and I'm just not willing to risk losing that improvement.
It's still too soon to tell if and how well the sTMS is helping me with migraine prevention, but I'm optimistic. I had seven migraines in July, six in August, and five in September. A positive sign that Dr. Watson and I observed is that we didn't see the increase in the number of migraine attacks that I have during the few weeks before my last Botox treatment. We're nowhere near ready to try stopping the Botox treatments, but we're planning to start lengthening the time between treatments to see what happens. My next appointment for Botox is on December 1, nearly 15 weeks after my August treatment.
More About the sTMS:
sTMS Migraine Device SIM CardSome people have asked what happens when the prescription for the sTMS needs to be renewed. Since mine just needed to be renewed, I can now answer that question.
When it's time for renewal, the prescribing doctor sends a renewal prescription to the manufacturer, eNeura. They, in turn, email an invoice for the renewal period. Once that's paid, they send out a new SIM card. You can see mine pictured here. It's the size of a credit card, and the SIM card is the detachable part that you can see on the left of the larger card. The yellow color you see around the SIM card is just a piece of paper I put under the card when I scanned it so it would be easier to see the SIM card itself. The SIM card is detached, and inserted into the device, replacing the one that was originally there. That's all there is to it.
The Spring TMS is available through approximately 30 academic headache centers - migraine and headache centers that are part of universities. If you're interested in the STMS, and your doctor is at an academic center, ask your doctor about it. You can also email eNeura (the company that makes the device), and they'll tell you if your doctor is currently prescribing the device.
The Spring TMS is a true breakthrough in migraine treatment. It's not contraindicated for people with a history of heart attack and stroke as the triptan and ergotamine abortives are. It carries no risk of medication overuse headache. At this point, I can say that it's successful in aborting most of my migraine attacks. I'm not sure if it's helping preventively, but I'm hopeful. Hopefully, I'll know when I post my next update.
Additional articles about the Spring TMS device:
- My Experience with Spring TMS for Migraine
- Spring TMS Migraine Device Availability Update
- Acute Migraine Treatment - Spring TMS Device Finally Approved FDA