Migraine headaches can be triggered by several factors, including stress and weather changes. The change in seasons can bring about migraine headaches, as can stress and anxiety related to the current pandemic and the astonishing number of jobs lost in its wake.
If you are among the 700,000 Americans who lost a job during March of this year, you may have lost your health insurance as well. If you find yourself unemployed or uninsured and concerned about how you will pay for your medications, know that RxSaver has options for paying for your medications without insurance.
How Much Do Migraine Medications Cost Without Insurance?
The following are five commonly prescribed migraine medications and their prices with RxSaver™. Pharmacy coupon prices vary by location and pharmacy, so be sure to check pricing at your local pharmacies.
|Medication||Lowest Price for Common Dosages*|
Can You Buy Migraine Medication Over the Counter?
You can buy some migraine medicines, such as naproxen (Aleve) and acetaminophen with caffeine (Excedrin Migraine), over the counter. If your migraine headaches are not controlled with over-the-counter medications, you may need stronger migraine medicine that requires a prescription from a health care provider.
To keep both patients and staff safer during the coronavirus pandemic, most doctors’ offices are practicing social distancing guidelines. This means that many offices are temporarily closed or are only seeing patients with urgent or emergency health concerns in the office. If you cannot see your doctor in person during the pandemic, several telehealth services can provide new prescriptions or refills on an old prescription.
When Do You Need Migraine Medication?
There a few factors to consider when you want to know if your headache is a migraine. Migraines are usually one-sided, throbbing or pulsing headaches that may also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound.
During a migraine, you may also have difficulty concentrating, mood changes, or experience a runny nose or tearing. Some people may experience auras before or after a migraine. Auras can be visual, such as flashes of light or floating spots, or sensory, such as a tingling feeling on one side of the face or body and difficulty speaking. Migraines can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, and you may feel extremely fatigued afterward.
Sometimes, you can treat your migraines with over-the-counter medication. If these do not control your headaches, you may need a prescription from your doctor. A health care provider will assess your symptoms and determine if prescription migraine medicine is right for you.
If you prefer to stay home or you cannot access your doctor’s office due to COVID-19 precautions, you can select from several telehealth services that can prescribe migraine medication.
How Do Migraine Medications Work?
Triptans are the most commonly prescribed migraine medications. Drugs in this class include the following:
- almotriptan (Axert)
- eletriptan (Relpax)
- frovatriptan (Frova)
- rizatriptan (Maxalt)
- sumatriptan (Imitrex)
- zolmitriptan (Zomig)
Triptans stop migraines by stimulating serotonin in your brain, which shrinks blood vessels and reduces inflammation. These medications work better if you take them as soon as you feel a migraine starting.
Medications in a newer class of drugs, known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor inhibitors, are used to prevent migraine headaches. Drugs in this class include the following:
- Aimovig (erenumab)
- Ajovy (fremanezumab)
- Emgality (galcanezumab)
CGRP is a protein in your body that is involved in pain transmission and causes inflammation and vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) that lead to migraines. CGRP receptor inhibitors prevent migraines by blocking the places where CGRP attaches and stopping the activity of CGRP. The effects of CGRP receptor inhibitors last for weeks to months, making it possible to dose the medication once a month or once every three months.
Always Check RxSaver Before Filling a Prescription
Losing your job or your health insurance can be a traumatic and stressful event. Migraine headaches should not also have to be a part of the picture, so it’s important to know that there are affordable options for obtaining your medication without insurance.
If you need a new prescription, you can access telehealth services from the comfort of your own home. A telehealth provider can also approve refills, and some states are allowing emergency refills of up to 30-day supplies of medication without a prescription.
Remember that you do not have to go without your medicine. Regardless of your financial position, RxSaver can help you find affordable prices for your medication.
sumatriptan: 5 mg / 1 spray
rizatriptan: 10 mg / 9 tablets
eletriptan: 40 mg / 6 tablets
zolmitriptan: 5 mg / 9 tablets
Ajovy: 225 mg/1.5 / 1 syringe
*Lowest online price at national pharmacy chains Costco, CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens and Walmart as of 4/21/2021. Prices vary by location and pharmacy, see RxSaver.com for actual pricing in your area.
Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD
Dr. Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD, is a freelance medical writer who has been a practicing pharmacist in her community for close to 20 years and is a regular contributor to the RxSaver blog. She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.
If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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