Botox – the cosmetic formulation frequently used to help smooth lines and wrinkles – is effective in the treatment of chronic migraine headaches. Millions of Americans suffer from migraine headaches, many of which are debilitating. As an alternative to pain medications, which provide only temporary relief, Botox that is given at regular intervals, a few times a year, can reduce the frequency and intensity of future headaches over time.
Did you know?
Pain relieving medications have long been the standard of managing chronic headaches and migraines. But did you know that Botox has been approved for the prevention of chronic migraines by the Food and Drug Administration? The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence conducted controlled trials to test the efficacy of Botox for migraine headaches in comparison to placebos. In each trial, Botox significantly out-performed the placebo, producing a noticeable reduction in headache frequency.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have chronic migraines. Am I a candidate for Botox treatment?
Botox is generally not the first line of treatment for migraine headaches. Instead, it is reserved for patients who have been unresponsive to headache medications. You may be a candidate for Botox for migraines if you have headaches on at least 15 days each month, with more than half of them being migraines. The only way to know for sure if Botox could help alleviate your headaches is by scheduling a consultation with your doctor.
What should I expect during a migraine Botox treatment?
Your Botox treatments will be administered in your doctor’s office. Most sessions take only 5 to 10 minutes, during which time a fine needle is used to inject small amounts of Botox into 7 key areas of the head. There is a total of 31 injections, which may induce mild discomfort. You’ll be allowed to return home the same day and resume normal activities soon after.
What types of results can I expect after getting Botox for my headaches?
Botox can provide significant pain relief for chronic headaches, but results vary from person to person. Keep in mind that it may take several weeks and more than one treatment before your headaches begin responding to Botox injections. Botox is not effective for the treatment of existing headaches.