Do you suffer from chronic migraine headaches? If you have very frequent migraines, and medications aren’t helping, you now have the option of getting Botox for headache treatment. The FDA recently gave Botox the nod of approval for treating chronic migraine headaches.
Botox for Migraines: Who’s a Candidate?
Botox injections are not for treating occasional migraine headaches. In fact, research shows it’s only effective for treating headaches in migraine sufferers who have them more than fourteen days out of the month. So, it’s not for everyone. On the other hand, this treatment could offer hope to migraine headache sufferers who experience migraines almost every day, making it difficult for them to work or carry out their daily activities.
How is Botox Administered to Treat Migraines?
If you’re afraid of needle sticks, this treatment could be intimidating. It takes around thirty injections of Botox into the multiple areas of the head and neck for this treatment to work its “magic” – and as it turns out it may not be as effective as drug companies would like to think. It’s not cheap either, although some insurance companies may pay for the procedure now that it’s approved by the FDA.
But, Does It Work?
Before dishing out money for Botox for headache treatment, keep this in mind. The results are unlikely to be dramatic. In fact, the average Botox user only experiences 2 to 3 fewer migraine days each month. Not an enormous improvement.
What About Side-Effects?
Surprisingly, the most common side-effects are headaches and neck pain. There were also concerns that the Botox toxin could spread into the surrounding tissues and cause difficulty breathing or swallowing, but there have been no reports of this happening even when Botox is used to treat other conditions. There is another upside to getting Botox for migraine treatment. It freezes dynamic facial lines, so you’ll look younger after your injections.
Botox for Migraine Headaches: The Bottom Line?
Botox for migraine treatment slightly increases the number of headache-free days, but it’s an expensive procedure that involves multiple needle sticks. Unless you have very frequent migraine headaches that don’t respond to other treatments, it’s best to avoid this treatment. It also has no effect on tension headaches or any type of headache other than migraines. If you’re experiencing daily headaches, talk to your doctor about your options.
Family Practice News. November 1, 2010. page 13.
New York Times. “Botox Wins FDA Approval as Migraine Treatment”