Botox for migraines - can migraine headaches be treated with Botox?

Botox for migraines is a relatively new solution that is gaining more and more supporters. Mainly because treating migraines is not easy. Most often, especially with low-grade pain and no additional symptoms, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful. When it comes to severe pain, however, painkillers are not as effective. For these patients, a more modern method of treating migraines with Botox (botulinum toxin) is a better solution.
Botox for migraines is an extremely effective way of relieving pain

What is Botox?

Botox stands for botulinum toxin, a toxin produced by bacteria of the genus Clostridium botulinum.

There are several types of botulinum toxin, labelled with letters from A to G. In modern medicine, however, only one form is used - the neurotoxin type A, which has been registered for treating chronic migraines on the basis of tests and efficacy.

Botox procedures for treating migraines are also offered at Medicover centres.

Treating migraines with Botox

According to the Polish Headache Association and the International Headache Association, Botox is considered the most effective treatment for chronic migraine. This treatment is much more effective than previous prophylactic drugs. It works in 80 percent of patients.

The indication for treatment with botulinum toxin are headaches occurring at least 15 days or more per month for a period of at least 3 months, with migraine pain occurring for at least 8 days.

Qualification for Botox migraine treatment

The patient must first be assessed by a neurologist to qualify for the treatment. During such visit, the neurologist will take the patient’s medical history and conduct a physical examination, as well as determine the frequency, type and location of headaches.

Another important part of the assessment is to exclude any contraindications for botulinum toxin therapy.

Contraindications for Botox migraine treatment.

Botulinum toxin should not be administered to patients who:

  • are pregnant or breast-feeding
  • are allergic to the toxin complex or any of the other ingredients
  • have an inflammation at the site of toxin administration.

An integral part of qualifying for treatment and assessing improvement is to keep a migraine log to monitor the severity, duration and frequency of headaches and migraines.

The qualifying visit lasts 30 minutes. After qualifying for the botulinum toxin treatment, the patient may immediately decide to undergo the procedure.

Benefits of Botox migraine treatment

  • After the procedure, the frequency and duration of the pain are reduced, and migraine headaches may even be alleviated completely. Already after the first series of injections, the number of headache days can be significantly reduced.
  • Treatment is effective in about 80% of patients.
  • The treatment allows patients to discontinue using painkillers, which are often taken in excess by patients with chronic migraines.
  • The procedure also has an anti-wrinkle effect - a side effect of the treatment.

What does the Botox treatment for migraines involve?

The treatment involves a series of injections of botulinum toxin into the muscles of the neck and head. A single session includes at least 31 injections - seven in the forehead area, four in the temple area on each side, five in each occipital region and three in the neck muscles on each side.

The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes. Depending on the location of the pain, the injection range can be extended to include other points.

The injection points are deliberately chosen to cover the entire head and all nerve endings that carry the signal to the inside of the head where the pain originates.

The procedure does not require anaesthesia or a recovery period. It takes several minutes to complete and afterwards you may resume your daily activities.

PLEASE NOTE: The only restriction on the day of the Botox procedure is abstaining from alcohol and exercise.

Already after the first administration of the toxin, the number of pain days can be significantly reduced, while the full effect of the treatment is obtained after 3 injection courses. In many cases, the effect is long-lasting. If the symptoms recur, a maintenance dose may be considered.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no need to worry that as a result of the procedure other muscles of the head will be immobilized, making it difficult to move freely. A properly chosen dose does not, in any way, impair the mobility of the main muscle groups.

How often should you undergo the Botox treatment for migraines?

It is recommended to repeat the treatment after 12 and 24 weeks, as full treatment requires a series of 3 procedures with an interval of 12 weeks.

Date added 06.03.2019
Data ostatniej aktualizacji 06.03.2019