Botox and Migraine: What You Have to Know

June is Nationwide Migraine and Headache Consciousness Month.Medically reviewed by Dr. Rashmi B. Halker Singh

You’ve heard of Botox as a beauty process — however do you know that Botox can also be used as a remedy for a number of medical circumstances, together with migraine illness?

We needed to study extra about how Botox might help with this debilitating illness, so we reached out to Dr. Rashmi B. Halker Singh, a headache neurologist and member of HealthyWomen’s Girls’s Well being Advisory Council who additionally has firsthand expertise with migraine, to see what she has to say.

What’s migraine illness?

Migraine is a neurological, genetic illness that has a posh group of signs, together with head ache, mild and sound sensitivity, nausea, and hassle concentrating. Migraine impacts about a billion individuals worldwide — together with one in 5 girls. Although it’s a standard situation, its signs are sometimes underrecognized. Whereas many are conversant in migraine as a kind of headache, a migraine assault really has 4 levels: prodrome, aura, headache and postdrome.

To assist consider whether or not recurrent headache assaults could possibly be migraine, Halker Singh recommends utilizing the mnemonic “PIN.”

  • P: Photophobia, the medical time period for mild sensitivity
  • I: Impairment, that means you don’t really feel such as you’re working in your regular cognitive stage
  • N: Nausea

If recurrent complications are accompanied by two out of the three signs outlined by “PIN,” there’s a very good likelihood that you simply’re experiencing migraine complications — versus different kinds of headache, like stress complications or sinus complications.

What’s Botox and the way can it deal with persistent migraine?

Botox is a model of botulinum neurotoxin that has been constituted of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Though it’s most well-known for its wrinkle-diminishing talents, Botox therapies may also assist lazy eye, extreme sweating (hyperhidrosis), bladder dysfunction and muscle contractions in addition to persistent migraine.

Botox has been formally authorized, and controlled, by the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) as a remedy for migraine since 2010. Consultants nonetheless aren’t precisely positive how Botox helps stop migraine assaults, however the present understanding is that Botox probably helps with migraine by stopping ache transmission.

Botox could be very profitable at stopping migraine assaults. In reality, sufferers report that after two botox therapies, their variety of headache days reduces by 50%. A examine within the Journal of Headache and Ache discovered that after the third remedy, individuals with persistent migraine reported diminished headache depth and frequency of headache medicine taken as nicely.

“In medical trials, on common, sufferers expertise 40 hours much less of migraine assaults per thirty days with [Botox], however in my very own private medical observe, I’ve seen responses differ considerably,” Halker Singh mentioned. She defined that, in individuals who discover Botox useful, responses vary from full aid to fewer migraine assaults.

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Who can obtain Botox for migraine?

Botox is a preventive remedy particularly for persistent migraine, which impacts 3%-5% of the U.S. inhabitants. With a purpose to be recognized with persistent migraine, headache assaults should meet migraine standards. As well as, you will need to expertise any kind of headache 15 days a month, and for a minimum of eight of these days, your headache assault should both meet migraine standards or be prevented by medicine earlier than it will get to that time. Lastly, this sample have to be steady for a minimum of three months.

When you suppose it’s possible you’ll be a candidate for a persistent migraine analysis — and Botox remedy — Halker Singh recommends utilizing a headache diary. “Generally when individuals are available to see me within the clinic, they’re actually considering discovering remedy and typically what they prioritize is their worst assaults,” Halker Singh defined. “What’s actually useful and essential to know is what’s taking place on these different days. So a headache diary might be actually useful to make clear as a result of if they’ve any type of headache on different days, they may have persistent migraine,” she mentioned.

As a result of the FDA has authorized botox remedy for persistent migraine assaults, most insurance coverage corporations will cowl these therapies, however every insurance coverage firm is completely different. Some require you to undergo a course of referred to as step remedy first, which can embrace making an attempt different drugs earlier than approving Botox. It’s essential to inform your HCP about all of the therapies you’ve tried to allow them to make an knowledgeable choice about the very best subsequent steps for you.

How are Botox therapies given?

Botox therapies for remedy of migraine include 31 injections, concentrating on seven key muscle teams within the head and neck. Although this may occasionally seem to be loads of photographs, appointments solely final round 20 minutes, and the skinny needles make the process extra snug, too. Therapies are administered each 12 weeks.

Do you have to attempt Botox in your migraine illness?

Botox is taken into account a superb remedy for persistent migraine as a result of it’s FDA-approved and customarily well-tolerated. When you’re contemplating utilizing Botox to deal with your migraine illness, make sure to speak to your HCP about any potential unintended effects.

The underside line is that Botox might be an efficient remedy for persistent migraine and has been discovered to enhance sufferers’ high quality of life. When you dwell with persistent migraine, verify along with your healthcare supplier to search out out if Botox is an choice for you.

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