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Botox Treatment for Migraines

Updated on October 9, 2013

Botox Treatment for Chronic Migraines

Although Botox is famous for vanishing wrinkles from foreheads, it has recently become the go to treatment for many different medical conditions. No longer seen as just a superficial treatment, Botox is now being used as a treatment for chronic migraine sufferers.

Botox treatment provides pain relief in some people who experience chronic migraines, and can provide relief for about six months. Unlike treatments that involve taking pills, Botox treatment is a series of injections.

Chronic migraines effect mostly women, and can be a very debilitating condition, with symptoms including throbbing pain, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or noise.

What are Chronic Migraines?

Botox Treatment for Chronic Migraines

Migraines are a type of headache, but a particularly severe form of them. When people have migraines or headaches almost every other day, they are considered to suffer from what is referred to as chronic migraines.

Since they are so painful, and occur so frequently, chronic migraines are a very debilitating condition.

How Does Botox Work to Treat Chronic Migraines?

Botox works to treat chronic migraines by effecting the way the nerves in the area works. Botox is a poison that effects the nerves.

The poison works by interfering with the way the nerves interact with the muscles. This causes the muscles to become too weak to function.

People who suffer from chronic migraines often feel relief when these tiny muscles around their forehead and neck are unable to contract.

What to Expect When You Get Botox Treatment for Chronic Migraines

Often Botox treatment is not the first method tried for managing chronic migraines. It is one of many options available, and Botox is just one brand name and other similar drugs are approved by the FDA for this purpose as well.

When you go for your appointment, the doctor will examine the area which will be injected. This is the forehead, the hairline, and around the neck.

The doctor will inject you with the medication, using a small syringe. The injection is not very deep. For the treatment of chronic migraines, usually about thirty injections are used, spaced about an inch apart or so.

You should be safe to drive home after the procedure, which will not take any longer than most standard doctor appointments.

Botox does not take effect immediately. It takes about eight days for the treatment to provide any relief.

Even if the treatment is successful, it might not completely eliminate the migraines, and patients may still require additional therapies to treat their migraines.

The Botox treatment usually wears off after about three months.

Side Effects of Botox Treatment for Chronic Migraines

Botox is made from a very serious poison, and Botox treatments carry a high risk. Always speak with your doctor about the pros and cons of the treatments, and if it is right for you. Every person's situation will be different. Make sure that your physician is experienced in administering the Botox injections for the purpose of treating migraines, and not just doing the Botox injections in general.

One of the potential issues with Botox treatments is that the Botox can drift from the site where it was administered.

Some of the side effects of Botox treatments are very serious, including soreness, inability to wiggle eyebrows, and drooping eyelids. Another side effect of the treatment is headaches, but I am not entirely sure how that is a side effect of a headache therapy.

Botox Treatment for Chronic Migraines is Approved by the FDA

The FDA approved Botox for use in the treatment of chronic migraines in 2010.

Many health insurance companies are still reluctant to pay for this procedure. You may have to pay cash for the treatments. If your health insurance company will not pay for the procedure, call several doctors who offer the treatment, and ask if they are willing to negotiate a favorable rate for you if you pay cash.

Quality of Life for Patients After Receiving Botox Treatment for Their Chronic Migraines

Chronic migraines can sorely limit the quality of life for people who suffer from them. They can interfere with careers and social lives.

The treatments will not cure the condition causing the chronic migraines, but only temporarily prevent them from occurring.

For some people, the treatment will reduce the number of migraines, but not completely prevent them. Many people still require other medications. It should however, let them lead a more normal lifestyle.

Discuss with your physician if this is the correct treatment for you. There are many different treatments available, and this one is not without risk.

Using Botox to treat Migraines

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