The FDA has approved Botox as a preventative treatment for chronic migraine headaches. While acute treatments are taken to treat a headache or a migraine once it has started, Botox prevents headaches before they start. On average, Botox for migraines can prevent 8 to 9 headaches and migraines in a month.
5 Things to Know about Botox
1. It prevents headaches and migraines before they start.
2. Botox is given every 12 weeks. It takes two treatments administered 12 weeks apart to determine if the preventative treatment is working for you. If you do not get treated every 12 weeks the treatment may be ineffective.
3. The treatment is administered through a small needle; an injection should not feel any worse than a tiny pinprick.
4. It will be injected by a Botox specialist. Treatments are administered by someone who is fully trained and certified to give Botox injections.
5. It takes about 15 minutes. The injections do not take long and are generally done right in the doctor’s office.
If you have 15 or more headache or chronic migraine days in a month, Botox is something to consider. It is generally prescribed for adults (18 and over) who have headaches lasting 4 or more hours several times a month.
Though it is prescribed for chronic migraines, it is not yet known if it is effective for episodic migraines (14 or fewer headaches a month).
Safety and Side Effects
In clinical studies, the most common side effect of Botox to treat headaches and chronic migraines was neck pain. Neck pain tends to be experienced by about 9% of Botox patients. Other side effects that were found in small numbers were headaches, migraines, partial facial paralysis, drooping eyelids, and bronchitis to name a few. These side effects are experienced by a small number of patients and it is not a comprehensive list so if you are considering Botox as a treatment it is important to speak with your doctor about the possible side effects.
What is Botox?
Botox is injectable and is made from a toxic bacterium called clostridium botulinum. When it is injected, it blocks some chemical signals from your nerves and caused temporary paralysis of your muscles. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s it was used as a wrinkle reducer but today it is also used to treat various medical conditions. In 2010, it was approved as a preventative treatment for chronic migraines.
How Does It Treat Migraines?
A doctor who specializes in Botox will inject the medicine into specific points along the bridge of your nose, your temples, your forehead, the back of your head, your neck, and your upper back. These injections are used to help reduce the symptoms of migraine headaches. Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to lights, sounds, and smells should all be reduced after the treatment. It could take up to 10 days or slightly more to experience any relief. Often times, it even takes more than one set of injections before you notice relief from your migraines.
Are Botox Injections Covered by Insurance?
If Botox is being used as a treatment for chronic migraines, most insurance providers offer coverage. Talk to your insurance company prior to starting any treatments to see what amount they cover or whether or not they require any procedures or tests prior to commencing treatments.
Is it Right for You?
Botox is now one of many treatment options for chronic migraines. If other treatments have not been successful it may be time to discuss Botox for migraines with your medical provider. If other treatments have not been effective it may be the right choice for you.
For more information about Botox and migraines you can discuss your options with the professionals at Bella Health and Beauty. They have Botox specialists in the Bakersfield, CA area who would be happy to go over treatment options.