Have you been suffering from chronic migraines for years? Botox is famous for smoothing out wrinkles on the face but was approved by the FDA to treat chronic migraine headaches too. Below are some things that you need to know about Botox.
Discovery of Botox
The discovery of Botox for treatment of migraine was quite by accident. Several patients who were using Botox for injection of wrinkles also happened to have migraine. They reported improvement in their headaches following injection of Botox to their brow and forehead muscles. The mechanism of action is not entirely clear. One possibility is that Botox may decrease muscle contraction that may act as a trigger to migraine. Another theory is that Botox may act on a brain-related chemical like substance P which is involved in pain and migraine mechanisms. Source: Headache-Help
Is Botox Right for You?
Botox is one of many treatment options available to individuals with chronic migraines. Doctors may not recommend Botox injections until other treatment options have proved unsuccessful. However, Botox may be a better option if you do not tolerate migraine medication well. Most insurance providers now cover the expense of a Botox injection if it is being used to treat chronic migraine. If you do not have insurance, or if your insurance does not pay for the procedure, a treatment can cost several thousand dollars. Before you begin the injections, talk with your insurance company about your responsibility. Source: HealthLine
What is Botulinum Toxin?
Botulism – paralysis of muscles caused by high doses of botulinum toxin – was first described in 1817. The responsible bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, was not isolated until 1895. Seven different subtypes of botulinum toxin (A-G) are known. A highly dilute preparation of botulinum toxin type A (Botox®) was introduced in clinical practice in the 1970s and 1980s to treat squint and blepharospasm. Since then it has found uses in other areas of medicine including dystonia (including writer’s cramp), post-stroke spasticity, and hyperhidrosis. Other botulinum toxin preparations are available, both of type A (Dysport and Xeomin) and type B (Neurobloc or Myobloc), but these have never been tested in headache disorders. Source: MigraineTrust
How Is Botox Used to Treat Migraines?
Botox to treat chronic migraines is given at intervals of about 12 weeks as multiple injections around the head and neck to try to dull future headache symptoms, the FDA says in a statement. The FDA says it’s important that patients who suffer chronic migraines discuss with their doctors whether Botox is appropriate for them. Allergan Inc., the maker of Botox, says in a statement that the FDA’s approval applies to people with chronic migraine, which it defines as a “distinct and severe neurological disorder characterized by patients who have a history of migraine and suffer from headaches on 15 or more days per month with headaches lasting four hours a day or longer.” The company says that when treating chronic migraine, qualified medical specialists administer 31 Botox injections into seven specific head and neck sites. It says that Botox, when injected at labeled doses in recommended areas, is expected to produce results lasting up to three months depending on the individual patient. Source: WebMD
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