You may have injections in your forehead, temples, and back of your head and neck. Sometimes, the specialist will inject areas called “trigger points” where the headache originates. Doctors believe that botox works for migraines because it blocks chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from the brain. Botox is like an obstacle on that path.
It stops chemicals before they reach the nerve endings around the head and neck. Botox is injected around the pain fibers that participate in headaches. Botox enters the nerve endings around where it is injected and blocks the release of chemicals that are involved in pain transmission. This prevents the activation of pain networks in the brain.
Botox aims to reduce the frequency with which you have migraine attacks and the severity of them. This prevents the activation of pain networks in the brain, Botox prevents migraines before they start, but it takes time to take effect. It may take up to the second and third treatment to maximize the effects. One treatment lasts 10 to 12 weeks, and patients reported that two treatments with Botox reduced the number of headache days by approximately 50%.
Botox is only available on the NHS for people with chronic migraine who have tried at least three other preventive treatments. Neck pain and headache are the most common side effects in people who have chronic migraines and who use Botox. Because Botox is FDA-approved for chronic migraine, it's covered by most plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. You will have several injections of Botox around your head and neck once every 12 weeks to mitigate or prevent migraines.
When people who had migraines used Botox to treat their wrinkles, they would tell their doctors that their headaches were better. Keep in mind that before your insurance company approves Botox as a treatment for chronic migraine, you generally must have tried and failed to respond to two other preventive treatments. Some people notice an improvement in their quality of life with Botox even if they do not have a big reduction in headache days. Although there is no confirmed case in which Botox spreads to other parts of the body, it is possible and could be fatal.
In a study of adults suffering from chronic migraines, Botox injections reduced the total number of days they had migraines or even other types of headaches. Laura Banks, a neurologist at the Natividad Medical Center, suggests asking potential doctors where they learned to administer Botox and how many times they have given it. The specialist will evaluate your history and symptoms to make sure that Botox is an appropriate treatment option for you. You should only receive this type of Botox treatment from a doctor who is trained to give these injections for chronic migraines instead of wrinkles or other cosmetic uses.