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Cluster13

(Member)
From: oswestry
2 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
Hi‚
I'm a UK sufferer; I've suffered with CH for 26 years and am currently 6 weeks into my latest bout and averaging 4 attacks a day at the moment.
My wife and I are considering (already working on) emigrating to Sydney. I have had a quick search but have not been able to find any information on the availability of Imigran injections in Oz. Can anyone advise if these are available on prescription (i.e. free from the GP)‚ covered under medical insurance or purchasable down under ?
I'm a little in the dark with the way that the Oz health system works.
Thanks
Steve
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lil_fuzzy

(Admin/Moderator)
From: Burpengary
114 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
Haven't heard of people using inhjections‚ but nasal spray and tablets are very common. Can prolly get the injections as well‚ if you ask for it.

The trouble with the nasal spray is that there's a limit as to how many doses you can get in a certain period of time‚ and for most people with CH it's not enough.

Dunno if it would be the same with the injections‚ but I'm sure someone else will know.
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David

(Member)
From: Coromandel Valley
73 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
Hi everyone‚
I was given some injections to take home several years ago by a doctor (samples I assume) but was unable to bring myself around to using them when the pain started.
I assume they are available with a script but not really sure

David
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Hefty

(Member)
From: sydney
13 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
Yes‚ you can get them quite easily with a prescription from a GP. They're about AU$15 each once you have medicare (ie you qualify for government medical subsidies).

My husband's a pom and his permanent residency has taken so long to come through that his temporary medicare coverage lapsed‚ so for the last year we haven't been able to afford the $90 or so per dose! Not to mention all the MRIs and ECGs he's had to have...

icon

I have heard there are ways to make it last longer by taking the syringe part out of the cover‚ because clusters apparently don't need as high a dose as migraines to abort.

Good luck!! smile
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wayne mc

(Member)
From: marulan
71 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
gday

Imigram is no ploblem to get out here‚ mine is prescibed by my local GP but the chemist will‚ only order it in‚ but im in the bush so sydney could be different‚ cost is about $136.00 without health insurance.

Hefty if you know how to get money out of medicare please let us know

I generally use imigram as alast resort after O2

Seems nasty to me ‚ cant be good for you

Verapamil is working very well for me‚ but dont be fooled and think your cycle is over as I did and stop taking it‚ because the beast is patient and will come with a vengence.

When you get here you find everything that you will get in the UK except we have sunshine.

Regards

wayne
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Cluster13

(Member)
From: oswestry
2 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
Hi‚ Thanks for your help.
Unfortunately O2 has no affect on me and Verapamil gives me terrible constant headaches even at very low doses (a real hangover type of headache but as bad as if you had drunk a “few” bottles of spirits).
I am aware that you can stretch the dose by using half (and have done this before when I get scared I'm going to run out).
Is this $15 per cart or script ?
Imigran is the only relief I have found and I still tremble when I think of the 15 years I was undiagnosed and the hundreds of hours of pain and pacing the streets in the middle of the night I have had trying to outrun the beast. UK prescription charges are £6.50 per script ($14) and I get 9 carts or 18 shots for this. I know that the instructions are not to take more than 2 in 24 hrs but when the pain comes a knocking then you are left with the choice of a jab and 15 mins pain or 2-4 hours on your knees‚ you can guess which option I take. I’m currently on 4 attacks a day so this is 2 refills or cartridges a day. I have a horrible feeling that‚ as this is a condition that is present before we take out insurance then we will not be covered. Would this mean it was going to cost $136 x 2(per day) x 28 (days per month) i.e. $7616 per month !!!
We are hoping to come over on a perm residency visa‚ so would we then be covered on “standard ?” medicare and insurance not be applicable ?

If I ever get to the end of this cycle I shall be stockpilig meds !
Steve
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wayne mc

(Member)
From: marulan
71 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
Hi Cluster 13

The imigran costs me $136.00 for two vials‚but this is still expensive.

I think but not sure after you have spent a certain amount per year on medication (maybe $1000.00) medicare then pays‚ I must look into this‚ I have only used about 6 or 8 shots so Im still a way off from $1000.00.

perhaps someone else can help‚ but I cant see you paying that sort of money‚ there would have to be a solution.

So best of luck‚ by the way its 36 deg C today so bring your sunscreen and hat.


Regards

Wayne
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Barry T Coles

(Member)
From: Karratha
217 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
Hi Cluster 13 & welcome to Oz clusterville

Wayne could be right about the $1000 medicare thing & it would be interesting to know for sure; the TAX office will reduce your tax payable at the end of the year by a percentage if you have spent more than $1000 over that financial year on prescription medicines but you have to show reciepts to prove it & its only a % not the full ammount.

Unlike the UK where you pay your tax as you earn like us you don't have to do a tax return whereas we have to (annual pain in the butt)If you have a lot of work expences & other claimables then you can reduce your tax payable.

I have private medical cover & I get my o2 subsidised by that cover to the tune of 50% of the bottle rental & gas cost up to $600 per year.

Cheers
Barry
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sean

(Member)
From: vic park
15 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
once you have medicare imagrin spray is $24 .50 for 2 sprays . You are only supposed to have 2 in 24 hrs but , like many sufferers i will use up to 6 per day . Im off to the docs in the morning and will ask about the injections . If medicare will subsidise im on it . There are so many treatments on this site that i have never heard of before . Joy smile
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sean

(Member)
From: vic park
15 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
oh , but medicare only let you have so many at this price , but an understanding doctor (mine ) doesnt give a blue root about medicare and hands out as many as i need , and then some . Oh , and if you get the imagrin tablets , get the fast release ones , same price but saves me about 10 min of grief. Funny ,10 min doesnt sound like much does it , but we all know it is smile
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Shell

(Member)
From: Echuca
123 total posts
Currently suffering :(
Hi Guys,
Just thought I'd mention The nasal sprays are for a box of 2 at $24.50 or if on medicare $5.40 a box of 2, you are allowed 6 boxes every three months on the medicare PBS, The imigran injections are not Covered on the PBS / medicare at all, even after you pass your safety net which is about $1000 so the cost of these is around $140 a box of 2 regardless.

The oral imigran is not a recommended medication for cluster headaches as it takes to long for the body to absorb, Imigran should be used as an abortive only. There are many other medications such as Verapamil, Prednisolone, and Lithium which are much more effective as preventatives.

The Imigran 6mg injections can be split into 2 or 3 for both migraine and cluster headache aborts, the only reason that they come in 6 mg ampules is because the drug companies determine the dosages, in some other countries they can be purchased in 4mg doses as well. I'm working on a petition to get Imigran Injections scheduled onto the PBS so the cost would only be $5.40 per box of 2, if on medicare. I will keep you all updated on my progress.

To add to the original post to get a script in Australia you must see a Dr, the cost of these appointments vary from $45 to $65 , if you then claim the medicare rebate you get about $35 dollars back until you reach your safety net ( about $1000 out of pocket on Drs appointments/ tests), then you receive the whole amount back. Or alternatively some medical practices Bulk Bill medicare and the appointments are at no charge, but not all area's have bulk billing medical clinics.

There is also a safety net on Prescription medications this is 52 Scripts per year at $5.40 each, every repeat is also charged at $5.40 until you reach the 52 then if the medication is a scheduled medication on the PBS you receive it for free, this goes by the calendar year. For all out of pocket medical costs/medications after the first $2000 you can claim 20% back on your tax Eg. If your medication costs you $5000 a year, you can only claim 20% of the remaining $3000. You also must have received income and paid tax to lodge a tax return to be eligible to claim this back.

Hope this has been helpful.
Regards Shelliconicon
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Jo-D08D58D06A

(Member)
From: Dee Why
16 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
If you want to use the imigran nasal spray... I buy them in bulk (all 5 repeats at once) from the Chemist warehouse, so instead of paying $24.50 a box for 2 doses, i pay $16.00 a box for the 2 doses and if i buy all repeats at once 6 boxes, i pay $13.00 a box... just a thought... the medication is expensive enough so this may help icon
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