When you think of Botox, you probably think of cosmetic injections that reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Although that is the primary application for Botox, it has also gained popularity as a treatment for persistent migraines.
The use of Botox for chronic migraine management in adults was approved in 2010. The ideal candidate for this treatment must typically have a history of migraines, with the headaches occurring at least five days a month for 4 hours or longer.
Read on for more on what you need to know before considering Botox for your migraines.
What is Botox?
When Botox is applied in small doses to targeted regions, it suppresses muscle spasms temporarily, for around three months. Doctors discovered that Botox injections reduced wrinkles by relaxing facial muscles. In addition, the relaxation benefited those who experienced tics and spasms due to a neurological condition like cerebral palsy.
In another discovery, people with migraines who took Botox to reduce wrinkles reported to their doctors that their headaches had improved. The doctors started researching it as a migraine pain therapy as a result.
How Botox Works in Treating Migraines
Onabotulinumtoxin A, also known as Botox-A, was FDA-approved in 2010 to treat chronic migraines. Botox is injected into particular head and neck regions where migraine discomfort is present, and the impact lasts for around three months.
Injections of Botox were created to inhibit the neurotransmitters that cause your muscles to contract. This effect reduces the visibility of wrinkles by interrupting these brain-to-body connections. However, inhibiting neurotransmitters can also stop migraine attacks from occurring. By controlling the production of these molecules, Botox prevents pain from affecting your nerve endings.
Botox can prevent migraines by preventing your brain from getting the initial signals that trigger them without running the risk of rebound headaches, a side effect of many oral treatments.
Ideal Botox for Migraine Candidates
Adults who are 18 years of age or older may use Botox to treat chronic migraines, according to the FDA. If Botox is administered to children or teenagers, it is regarded as an off-label treatment. As a result, although a doctor may prescribe it, insurance companies might not cover the cost.
Only chronic migraines, defined as headaches 15 or more days a month, are FDA-approved candidates for Botox. Patients who encounter fewer ties than that are not advised to take it, for instance, if they experience headaches just 14 or fewer days per month.
Having other sorts of headaches, such as cluster headaches, also disqualifies you from using Botox as a migraine treatment. If you have any of the following, Botox is not a good option for you:
- Botulinum toxin sensitivity or allergy is well-known, or you have a history of botulism.
- Neurological diseases that increase your risk of muscle weakness, like Myasthenia Gravis, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Symptoms of infection at or around the injection site
- You are nursing a baby or pregnant
How Botox is Administered
Botox occurs in a single-use vial of powdered substance, mixed up to create a liquid solution. The drug is administered intramuscularly by a medical practitioner to adults with persistent migraine headaches to avoid headaches.
You could wonder where intramuscular injections for migraine headaches are administered, as such injections are administered directly into a muscle. Below is the Botox for migraines injection sites;
- Between the shoulder and neck on your left and right sides
- At the back of your neck, by the base of the skull on both your left and right sides
- Behind each ear, the back of your head
- Above each eye in the middle of your forehead
- Right above your nose at the lower part of your forehead
Botox injections are often administered every 12 weeks for people with persistent migraine to prevent headaches. But make sure to follow the dosage plan that your doctor has prescribed for you.
Possible Side Effects
Most people handle botox well, and it is thought to be a safe procedure if administered by a professional. Before using Botox to treat migraines, you should know some of its potential side effects.
Botox for migraines frequently causes the following side effects:
- Soreness, swelling or redness at the injection site
- Dry mouth
- Neck stiffness
Generally speaking, these reactions are only the result of having a foreign material injected into your body. After a day or two, they usually go. Long-term side effects are also possible; it may take many weeks for these adverse effects, caused by the Botox procedure itself, to go away. If you experience any of the following symptoms following your treatment, you should seek medical attention.
They might consist of:
- Muscle weakness
- Eyebrows that seem to look uneven or droop
- Blurry vision
- Swelling of your throat or tongue
- Difficulty swallowing or speaking
Besides its cosmetic function, Botox is an FDA-approved treatment you can seek to manage your migraines. If not properly managed, migraines can rob you of the joy life offers. Fortunately, you don’t have to miss out on life events because of the persistent headaches. Check our website and contact our team today for more information on our Botox for migraines service.