Botox and Migraines: What You Need to Know


June National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.Medically reviewed. Dr. Rashmi B. Halker Singh

you heard botox as a cosmetic procedure – but did you know that? botox It is also used as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions, including migraine disease?

We wanted to learn more about how Botox can help with this debilitating disease, so Dr. Rashmi B. Halker Singha headache neurologist and a member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Council who also has first hand experience with migraineto see what you have to say.

What is migraine disease?

Migraine is a neurological, genetic disease with a complex set of symptoms such as headache, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and difficulty concentrating. Migraine affects approx. one billion people around the world – including one in five women. Although it is a common condition, its symptoms are often poorly recognized. While many are familiar with migraine as a type of headache, migraine attack actually there is four stages: prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome.

Halker Singh recommends using a mnemonic “PIN” to help assess whether recurrent headache attacks are migraines.

  • P: Photophobiamedical term for photosensitivity
  • I: Impairment, meaning you don’t feel like you’re working at your normal cognitive level
  • N: nausea

If recurrent headaches are accompanied by two of the three symptoms indicated by “PIN”, good chance to experience migraine headaches – unlike other types of headaches such as tension headaches or sinus headaches.

What is Botox and how can it treat chronic migraine?

Botox is a brand of botulinum neurotoxin made from bacteria. Clostridium botulinum. Although best known for its wrinkle reduction abilities, Botox treatments can also help lazy eye, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), bladder dysfunction and muscle contractions, as well as chronic migraine.

Botox has been officially approved and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a migraine treatment since 2010. Experts are still not entirely sure how Botox helps prevent migraine attacks, but current understanding is that Botox likely helps. migraine by preventing pain transmission.

Botox is very successful in preventing migraine attacks. In fact, after two botox treatments, patients the number of headache days is reduced by 50%. a study inside Journal of Headache and Pain They reported that after the third treatment, people with chronic migraines had reduced headache intensity and frequency of taking headache medication.

“In clinical studies, patients experience an average of 40 fewer migraine attacks per month. [Botox], but in my own personal clinical practice, I have seen responses vary significantly,” said Halker Singh. He explained that in people who found Botox helpful, responses ranged from complete relief to fewer migraine attacks.

Syringes are filled with injection and medical vaccine vials.iStock.com/5./15 WEST

Who can have botox for migraine?

Botox is a preventative treatment, especially for chronic migraines. 3%-5% of the US population. For a diagnosis of chronic migraine to be made, headache attacks must meet the criteria for migraine. In addition, you must be experiencing all kinds of headaches for 15 days a month and your headache attack must either meet the criteria for migraine on at least eight of those days or be prevented with medication before it reaches that point. Finally, this pattern should remain stable for at least three months.

If you think you might be a candidate for a chronic migraine diagnosis and Botox treatment, Halker Singh recommends using a headache diary. “Sometimes when people come to see me at the clinic, they’re really interested in finding treatment, and sometimes what they prioritize is their worst attack,” said Halker Singh. “The really helpful and need-to-know thing is what happens on other days. So, a headache diary can really help to clarify, because if they experience any headaches on other days, they may have chronic migraines,” she said.

Since the FDA has approved botox treatment for chronic migraine attacks, most insurance companies will cover these treatments, but each insurance company is different. Some require you to go through a process called step therapy First, it may involve trying other medications before approving Botox. It is important that you tell your HCP about all treatments you have tried so they can make an informed decision about the best course of action for you.

How are Botox treatments given?

Botox treatments for migraine treatment consist of 31 injections targeting seven major muscle groups in the head and neck. While this may seem like a lot of footage, appointments only take about 20 minutes and the fine needles also make the procedure more comfortable. Treatments are administered every 12 weeks.

Should you try Botox for your migraine?

Botox is considered an excellent treatment for chronic migraine as it is FDA-approved and generally well tolerated. If you’re considering using Botox to treat your migraines, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about possible side effects.

In conclusion, Botox can be an effective treatment for chronic migraine and improve patients’ quality of life. If you’re living with chronic migraines, check with your healthcare provider to see if Botox is an option for you.

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