If you want to try botox for migraine, you should look for a headache specialist or a neurologist. We recommend using your insurance doctor list, Yelp, or the American Migraine Foundation physician database. 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.
Stops chemicals before they reach nerve endings around the head and neck. Injections are given every 12 weeks. Botox is usually given until the migraine has changed to episodic migraine for three months in a row or until there is significant improvement in disability using quality-of-life questionnaires. If Botox does not improve migraine sufficiently, it can be stopped.
Botox is a drug that uses a form of botulinum toxin to temporarily paralyze muscle activity. Best known for its ability to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, Botox has also been shown to help prevent chronic migraines in some people. It is mainly used for those who have headaches more than 15 days a month. Since 2002, Mayo Clinic doctors have treated thousands of patients with chronic migraine effectively and safely with Botox.
The drug is usually injected into the muscles of the forehead, scalp, neck and shoulders. The specifics of how Botox works to prevent headaches are unknown. However, the injected Botox is likely to be absorbed by pain receptors in the nerves of the muscles. The medicine then turns off those pain receptors and blocks pain signals that nerves send to the brain.
However, the pain does not go away permanently. After several months, the nerves sprout new painful fibers and headaches tend to recur. The Botox effect usually lasts about two and a half months. Because injections are repeated no earlier than every three months, some people need another treatment for headache during the last two weeks of a Botox cycle.
Providing Botox treatment for headaches every three months is a national standard, as recommended by the American Headache Society. Treatments aren't given more often because of the small chance that if you receive Botox more often, your body could build up antibodies to botulinum toxin. These antibodies could, in theory, prevent Botox from working with future injections. For many people, treatment with Botox alone is enough to control their chronic headaches.
However, some do require other medications besides Botox to prevent migraine attacks. They may include cardiovascular drugs, such as beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers, certain antidepressants, and some anti-seizure medications, among others. Medications taken at the time of a migraine can also be very helpful. The most common side effects of botox injections include swelling or bruising at the injection site.
Rarely, the medicine can spread to nearby tissues and cause problems such as drooping eyelids, eyebrows that look out of place, dry eyes, or excessive tearing of the eyes. This tends to happen more in people who already have a little drooping of their eyes or who are more sensitive to botulinum toxin. Sometimes changing injections to a slightly different location can reduce this side effect. Although it is very rare, there is a possibility that the effect of botulinum toxin will spread to other parts of the body and cause symptoms, such as muscle weakness, vision problems, difficulty speaking or swallowing, or difficulty breathing.
Usually, doctors recommend not using Botox if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, because the effects of the drug on the fetus are unknown. Botox should only be used under the care of a doctor. Botox can be dangerous if administered incorrectly. Ask your primary care doctor for a referral or find a doctor who specializes in chronic headaches and who has experience administering Botox treatments.
A trained and properly trained doctor can discuss the procedure with you in detail and help you decide if it fits your needs. Bartleson, Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Since its introduction, Botox has become an accepted treatment for chronic migraine when other standard treatments have failed. Botox can help people feel and function better with fewer days missing from work, and treatments are often covered by health insurance plans.
Sashank Reddy says: “Botulinum toxin injectables are part of a comprehensive set of options that neurologists and headache specialists have for the treatment of chronic migraines. Botox was introduced for the treatment of chronic migraine in 2000, after some people who received injections for the cosmetic treatment of facial lines reported improvement of headaches. When people who had migraines used Botox to treat their wrinkles, they would tell their doctors that their headaches were better. The specialist will evaluate your history and symptoms to make sure that Botox is an appropriate treatment option for you.
A disadvantage of Botox is that it must be administered by injection by a medical provider every three months to maintain the effect. In addition, people receiving Botox may need to continue taking their prescription migraine medications for optimal results. A recent meta-analysis brought together the results of multiple previous studies to investigate the usefulness of Botox, a brand of BoNT, to reduce the frequency of chronic migraine. In chronic migraine, standard treatments, including daily prescription preventive drugs alone or in combination, are usually tried before Botox.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers, as well as people with an allergy to cow's milk proteins, should avoid botulinum toxin injectables. These treatments, known as neuromodulating drugs (such as Botox, Dysport, Xeomin and Mybloc), were approved by the U. In Scotland, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) approved Botox for chronic migraine, in which people have not responded to three oral preventive treatments and any drug overuse has been properly managed. .