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Cefaly Dual Enhanced is a drug-free alternative treatment for migraine. The device sticks to a person’s forehead and emits electrical impulses that aim to ease and prevent migraine symptoms. However, it may not suit everyone, and individuals may need to reconsider using the device if they have specific medical implants.

The American Migraine Foundation claims that 1 billion people worldwide are affected by migraine, including:

  • 1 in 5 women
  • 1 in 16 men
  • 1 in 11 children

This article looks at the Cefaly device for treating migraine. We also explore alternative products, advise when to consult a doctor, and answer some frequently asked questions.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried this product. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that a migraine headache is an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in the head. There may also be additional symptoms, including:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sensitivity to light
  • sensitivity to sound

Migraine headaches also sometimes occur after a person experiences visual disturbances called auras.

According to a 2019 study, the most common symptom of a migraine attack is light sensitivity.

Some drugs are available to treat migraine, but a person may prefer drug-free methods, such as the Cefaly device.

Operating since 2008, Cefaly is the manufacturer of the Cefaly Dual device, which provides drug-free pain relief via an electrode. The device sends electrical impulses to nerves and targets areas most affected by migraine pain.

Brand reputation

While Cefaly has no reviews on its Trustpilot page, the company has closed one complaint in the last 3 years on its Better Business Bureau page. This complaint mentions refund issues.

The company has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on its website. Positive reviews mention the Cefaly device is effective. However, negative reviews state it did not work for the individual or that the device was uncomfortable.

Many of these reviews mentioned the device did not work well at first but became effective after additional attempts. However, it is worth noting that Cefaly could be filtering reviews on its website.

Cefaly Dual is suitable for people over the age of 18 years who experience migraine headaches with or without visual disturbances.

However, a person should not use the Cefaly Dual if:

  • they have metallic or electronic devices implanted in their head
  • they experience pain but do not know the cause
  • they have a cardiac pacemaker or use an implanted or wearable defibrillator

People who are pregnant, under the age of 18, or over the age of 65 should consult a healthcare professional before using the device. Additionally, those with heart conditions or have experienced a head injury or seizure should also speak with their doctor first.

To use the Cefaly Dual Enhanced device, a person cleanses their forehead using soap and water and dries the area thoroughly. They then remove the electrode from the product packaging and attach it to their forehead, ensuring the curved area sits between the eyebrows. The device then attaches magnetically to the electrode.

A person can choose between “acute treatment” or “prevent treatment” options.

The acute setting is for an individual experiencing a migraine attack and will last for 60 minutes.

The company advises using the “prevent treatment” option daily for 20 minutes to help reduce or prevent migraine attacks.

Individuals will experience a tingling sensation as the tiny electrical impulses stimulate the targeted nerve. People can also adjust the device’s intensity.

How does it work?

Most migraine attacks involve the trigeminal nerve, the largest cranial nerve. The Cefaly Dual works by sending tiny electrical impulses to it, which may reduce the intensity and frequency of migraine headaches. The device can reach the top part of the nerve through the forehead due to its placement.

A 2018 study found that Cefaly Dual helped reduce pain in people with migraine attacks after 1 hour of using the device.

Below, we look at some advantages and disadvantages of the Cefaly device.

Common side effects from using the Cefaly Dual may include sleepiness, and a small percentage of individuals reported headaches after using the preventive mode.

Other uncommon side effects may include:

  • forehead redness
  • skin allergies
  • nausea

This product is suitable for use on the forehead only, so a person should not use it on any other body area. Additionally, an individual should not place the device on open wounds or skin with infections.

A person should keep the Cefaly Dual device away from water, and they should not drive or operate machinery while using the device.

The Cefaly Dual device is available online, and people do not need a prescription to purchase it. The standard product package includes:

  • the Cefaly Dual Enhanced device
  • three reusable electrodes
  • an electrode storage bag
  • an instruction manual
  • a charging dock and USB charging cable
  • a storage case

This package costs around $380.

An expanded bundle is also available that includes:

  • the Cefaly Dual Enhanced device
  • 18 reuseable electrodes
  • a resealable electrode storage bag
  • an instruction manual
  • a charging dock and USB charging cable
  • a storage case

This option costs around $500. Additionally, the company may offer a discount on its website.

A few alternative drug-free migraine relief products include:

  • Zok: This rubber bulb and earbud device goes into the ear. It reduces pressure and tension in the head and is suitable for use multiple times during the day. It is a Class 1 medical device with FDA clearance.
  • Nerivio: A person attaches this device onto their arm and then controls it via their smartphone. The individual should activate the device when a migraine attack begins — it works by releasing electrical signals to ease the pain. A person can control the intensity via their smartphone. For best results, people should use it for 45 minutes.
  • VICI Oh Mi-Graine Patches: This is a patch that a person sticks to their skin. It releases natural ingredients, including butterbur, ashwagandha root, and ginger, which absorb into the skin. These ingredients reportedly ease migraine headaches, and a person can wear the patches for 8–10 hours. However, the FDA has not evaluated these claims.

A person should speak with a doctor if migraine attacks interfere with their everyday life or they occur frequently.

Additionally, individuals should seek immediate and urgent medical advice if they experience the following symptoms:

  • a sudden, severe headache with accompanying neck stiffness
  • a headache following a head injury
  • a headache that accompanies a loss of sensation or weakness to any part of the body
  • experiencing two or more headaches per week
  • a headache that accompanies nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fever, or loss of consciousness

Below, we look at some of the most commonly asked questions around Cefaly.

How much does Cefaly cost?

A basic Cefaly kit is available to purchase from the company’s website for around $380, with a larger bundle featuring extra electrodes for $500. The company may also offer discounts periodically.

Does insurance cover the Cefaly device?

Some insurance companies may cover some or all of the cost of a Cefaly device, but Cefaly does not process insurance payments.

For veterans, Cefaly has full coverage by the Veterans Association.

Who should not use Cefaly?

Those with implanted metallic or electronic devices in their head should not use this device, along with individuals with a cardiac pacemaker or an implanted or wearable defibrillator. Additionally, a person who experiences unidentified pain should not use the Cefaly Dual Enhanced.

Some individuals also should consult their doctor before using this device, including:

  • pregnant people
  • those under the age of 18
  • those above the age of 65
  • individuals with heart problems
  • those who have recently had a head injury
  • anyone who has had a seizure

Cefaly Dual Enhanced is a device that a person places on their forehead. It releases electrical impulses to reduce the intensity and frequency of migraine attacks.

An individual can either use this device when a migraine attack starts or every day to help prevent them. It is available to purchase online via the company’s website.

If a person experiences a severe, sudden headache with new accompanying symptoms, they should seek immediate and urgent medical care.