Can Botox® Really Help My Migraine?
What You Should Know Before Getting Botox® Injections to Treat Chronic Migraines.
By Enliven Aesthetics. Posted January 22, 2021
Did you know that 12% of the US population suffers from chronic migraines? If that doesn’t sound like a lot to you, then to put into numbers that’s roughly 4 million people.* As if that’s not bad enough, 9 out of 10 people who suffer from chronic migraines report that their migraines are so bad that they cannot function normally during an attack.
So, what are you supposed to do if you suffer from migraines? For years, your doctor would most likely recommend you to take a prescription medication to help treat your migraines or tell you to make some lifestyle changes. However, did you know that Botox® injections can help treat migraines?
Let’s start with the basics!
What is Botox®?
Botox® is a form of botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin produced by bacteria that causes botulism. When it is used in tiny doses in small, concentrated areas, it temporarily paralyzes muscle contractions.
What’s the difference between Botox® used for cosmetic purposes and Botox® used for chronic migraines?
Nothing! Interestingly, the reason why Botox® became FDA approved was that people who received Botox® injections for cosmetic purposes reported that it helped relieve their chronic migraines as well.
The only difference that we can think of is that when you get Botox® done specifically for migraines, we may do more shots in areas where the pain is felt.
How does it work and how effective is it?
Botox® is primarily injected into the pain fibers that are involved with your migraines. Doctors think Botox® works for migraine headaches because it blocks the chemicals
involved in pain transmission. Essentially, it causes your nerves to not activate in your brain.
Although more research is needed, one study found that “nearly half the people who took two rounds of Botox® shots reported that the number of days they had a headache each month was cut in half. After five rounds of treatment, that increased to about 70% of the people.”*
Are there any side effects?
Like every medical treatment, side effects may vary. The most common side effect that gets reported is a sore neck or a mild to moderate headache. We recommend using an ice pack to alleviate discomfort for soreness, and rest to relieve your headache. Please talk to a medical professional if side effects appear serious or do not disappear after 2-3 days.
How soon will I notice results and how long do they last?
Patience is virtue when it comes to seeing results. It can take about 2-3 weeks to notice results; however, some patients do say that they notice them right away. Results may vary. In the meantime, you can continue your regular medications with no risk of a drug interaction.
Once you do start to experience relief, one round of treatment can last anywhere between 2-3 months. We will consult with you on the treatment plan that is best suited for you.
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Burch R, Rizzoli P, Loder E. The prevalence and impact of migraine and severe headache in the United States: Figures and trends from government health studies. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. Apr 2018; 58(4), 496-505.
Buse DC, Scher AI, et al. Impact of migraine on the family: Perspectives of people with migraine and their spouse/domestic partner in the CaMEO study. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. May 2016; 91(5), 596-611. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025619616001269. Accessed May 28, 2019.
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