Botox and Migraines
You have probably seen the advertisements on television, “If you suffer from more than 15 migraine days a month see your physician to talk about getting Botox to help prevent your migraines.” Botox is the first and only medication that has been approved by the food and drug administrating as a preventative measure to treat chronic migraines. Chronic migraine is defined as having 15 or more headache days a month 8 of those 15 being migraines. A migraine is a complex disorder that presents with the following symptoms.
For people that suffer from migraines the disorder can be debilitating. Studying Botox for the use of chronic migraines started in 1997, and the first publication was released a year later in 1998. It was then approved by the FDA in 2010.
Patients that are candidates for Botox injections are patients who have been diagnosed with chronic migraines, and have failed relief from multiple oral medications that are used to treat chronic migraines. In a study that was done in 2014 13 patients were selected to participate in a trial to see if Botox would relieve their symptoms. By the end of the third session of injecting Botox every three months the patients reported and average of a 20% decrease in migraine days/month.
The injections are placed in specific muscles in the anterior and posterior (front and back) aspects of the head, the temporal area (side of the head), and the back of the neck and upper shoulder region. Dose is dependent on the muscle that is being injected. See figure here.
You know what you read in the magazines……celebrities they are just like us! Well one of my favorite stars, and tony award winner Kristen Chenoweth has come out and talked about how she has been treating her debilitating migraines with Botox for almost 10 years! She states she gets Botox across her forehead and she hasn’t had a full blown headache since she started.
As a migraine suffer myself, let me tell you first hand you do not need to live with this pain. It is a debilitating condition that affects your work, your relationships, and social activities. I can proudly say that after suffering with chronic migraines for almost 20 years and trying multiple medications Botox injections have worked for me! Since I started getting Botox injections I have been able to wean myself off of my oral medications and have decreased my headache days down to 1/month.
While Botox does help with aesthetic needs it is also FDA approved for 8 other therapeutic indications, and has changed people’s lives including my own all around the world.