According to Dr. Donnica, migraines debilitate up to 23% of adults per year, including myself. Migraneurs know they are having an attack, as we often feel a little like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Migraines can start with auras, which are visual changes, and often times will also include symptoms such as hypersensitivity to both light and sound. Add in extreme nausea and vomiting and you have a typical migraine, which for thousands of unlucky individuals are a daily occurrence.
These severe headache attacks are definitely not the way anyone wants to spend their time, but unfortunately there is no one magic pill to cure everyone so work is missed, absences occur at school and social events are skipped in favor of lying in a dark room with an ice pack.
This FDA approval of Botox as a preventive medication is viewed as a victory for migraine sufferers who have tried an array of treatments–other preventative medication, dietary and lifestyle changes, acupuncture, herbs, physical therapy–with no success. Trying to find the correct combination of medication alone for an individual can take years, which translates in expensive medical bills, paying out of pocket to consult with a specialist, absenteeism, and a general decrease in the quality of life. But now there may be a new lease on life, even for us mere mortals are not part of the Housewives crowd.
Adults who suffer more than 14 migraines a month (excluding episodic migraines) are eligible for this treatment. Basically, patients will meet with their physician every 12 weeks . The physician will proceed to inject the patient’s face and throat, with the intention of dulling the headaches. Adverse reactions included neck pain and the possibility of Botox leaking into other parts of the body, though there have been no reports yet.
The addition of Botox to treatment options had generally been well received in the migraine community. Skeptics believes people just want Botox for cosmetic purposes, and they will use migraines as an excuse to get the procedure. Yes, celebrities and wealthy individuals use Botox and may try to pass it of as medicinal rather than cosmetic. Kim Zolciak, one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, stated in an interview she had been receiving Botox since she was 25 years old due to her migraines (although she claimed the Botox was for medical purposes, she did admit to four cosmetic procedures). While the rich and famous will continue to use plastic surgeons for the cosmetic use of Botox, neurologists will actually be offering Botox to their migraine patient in their own offices. Costs vary ,but average $500 a treatment . Not all insurances are eager to pick up the tab, if you are interested in trying this treatment for your migraines it would be wise to speak with your insurance carrier first because of cost and number of treatments needed.
There has been so much progress made in the neurological field with migraines in the 10 years since I started suffering from them; with technological advancements there very well may be that magic pill sometime in our lifetime to control the severity of the headaches.
“FDA approves Botox to treat chronic migraine” http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/ Retrieved
04 Nov 10
Moore, . “Fast Facts on Migraines”. http://www.drdonnica.com/ Retrieved 11 Nov 10
” ‘˜Real Housewife’ Kim Zolciak : Botox Helps my Migraines”.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ Retrieved 10 Nov 10
Singer, N. “Botox Shots Approved for Migraine”. http://www.nytimes.com/ Retrieved 19 Oct 10