Managing Chronic Migraine with Botox – Facts That You Need To Know

§ October 30th, 2013 § Filed under Chronic Headaches, Managing Migraines, Migraines, Migraines and Botox § No Comments

Migraines BotoxMigraines can cause a lot of pain, discomfort and many more side effects. When it is frequent, it can become intolerable. Migraines are not completely curable but there are many treatment options to minimize the pain and to decrease the frequency of migraine attacks. One of the new FDA approved option is Botox.  Botox injection which was initially used to get rid of wrinkles and to bring back youthful skin can also give relief from migraine.

What is Botox?

Botox belongs to a group of drugs that are called biologic drugs. Botolinum toxin is a protein produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botolinum. The trade name for Botolinum toxin is Botox. The release of a chemical messenger in the brain is responsible for the contraction of muscles. This protein prevents the release of this chemical messenger.

Is it proved that Botox works for treating migraines?

One of the clinical studies conducted confirmed that the number of days in which a patient is affected by migraine headaches is reduced. In this trial, patients who had 20 days of migraine headaches per month were taken. They were given Botox injections twice in 6 months. After 6 months it was found the number of days was decreased to 12 days. The treatment was continued for yet another 6 months. After 6 months if was found that the number of days was 10 or lesser than 10. The fact that FDA and HRA have approved to Botox treatment is itself a proof that it is effective.

How is it helpful in managing migraine?

The exact reason why Botolinum toxin is useful in giving relief from pain in many diseases that include bladder pain, myofacial pain and lower back pain etc. It is the release of peripheral nociceptive neurotransmitters that affects the central pain processing system. This in turn generates migraine headaches. Botolinum toxin blocks the release of these neurotransmitters and helps in migraine pain management.

What is procedure for Botox treatment?

Botox is injected every 3 months by the doctor. Each treatment involves a total of 31 injections. Seven key areas in the head and neck including the bridge of the nose, the forehead, the temple, the neck, the upper part of the back, the back of the head and the part below the shoulder blades are injected. The needles used for injection are very small and very sharp. The injection may cause slight discomfort and slight pain. The time taken for Botox treatment is just 10-15 minutes. The injection is given in the doctor’s office and the patient can return back to normal day-to-day activities and work immediately.

Does Botox injection cause side effects?

The most common side effects are stiffness and pain in the neck. Other side effects that are not very common include facial paralysis, bronchitis, pain in the muscles, pain in the ligaments, dryness in mouth, increase in the blood pressure and muscular spasms etc.

What are the precautions to be taken?

Botox injections should not be given to patients allergic to one or more of the ingredients used. Allergic side effects should be reported to the doctor immediately. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and breast feeding mothers should avoid Botox treatment. Some drugs may cause adverse reactions when taken with Botox. The doctor should be given a detailed report on the various drugs taken by the patient before starting the treatment. Make sure that the person injecting Botox has received appropriate training. Getting the services of trained injectors can help in avoiding many undesirable consequences.

Botox treatment is restricted to a few headache centers. It will surely be available in more health care centers in the near future. The decision for Botox injections is taken by the doctor after careful scrutiny of the patient’s history. Trust your health care professional’s judgment before starting the treatment.

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