Botox for Chronic Migraine.
Botox received FDA approval for the treatment of chronic migraine in October 2010.
Botox is an injectable form of botulinum toxin called onabotulinumtoxin A. It is used for preventing migraines in adults with chronic migraine (migraines that occur on 15 or more days per month for more than 3 months, which has the features of migraine headache on at least 8 days per month).
How Botox for migraines works.
Botox works by blocking the release of certain brain chemicals including acetylcholine and by blocking the movement of certain nerves and muscles. It is not completely known how Botox reduces headache pain and stiffness. A potential reason might be that Botox blocks nerves that send pain messages to the brain and relaxes muscles so they are less sensitive to pain.
Patients have differing levels of success with each type of treatment. Some feel reasonably better quickly, while others find their migraine symptoms completely go way. Botox was evaluated in 2 well designed studies that included people who were not using migraine prevention medicines but who were experiencing more than 15 days of probable migraine headache per month lasting at least 4 hours per day. Results included measurable and meaningful differences after 24 weeks as compared to people who received sugar injections including:
Number of headache days per 28 days : patients receiving Botox had approximately 2.3 fewer headache days compared to the placebo group (7.8 to 9.2 fewer days for the Botox group, versus 6.4 to 6.9 days for the placebo group, respectively)
Patients receiving Botox also experienced a reduction in total headache hours compared to the placebo group.
Forms of Botox available to treat migraines.
Botox is available in injectable form. Botox and Botox Cosmetic (the form of Botox given for reducing facial wrinkles) both contain the same ingredients but have different approved uses and labeling. When given for chronic migraine, Botox is diluted and a series of 31 injections are given across 7 specific regions on both the left and right sides of the head and neck. It is recommended that this treatment be repeated every 12 weeks.
Approximate Cost of Botox for migraine.
To be determined at the time of consultation.
Most common side effects of Botox injection.
Facial loss of movement
Muscle stiffness and weakness
Muscle pain and spasms
Pain at injection site
High blood pressure
The Two Types of Treatment Options
There are many ways to manage Chronic Migraine; most medications are either acute or preventive. Headache Specialists often prescribe preventive medications for Chronic Migraine patients; however, a treatment plan may include acute and preventive treatment, so it's important to understand how they work to manage Chronic Migraine.
BOTOX® is a preventive treatment
BOTOX® is the first and only preventive treatment approved by the FDA for adults with Chronic Migraine (15 or more headache days a month, each lasting 4 hours or more). BOTOX® therapy is not approved for adults with migraine who have 14 or fewer headache days a month.
If you have Chronic Migraine, a preventive medication like BOTOX® may be an option for you.