Botox for Chronic Migraine
Botox, or botulinum toxin type A, is a drug made from the bacterium Colistridium botulinum. It is often used to temporarily smooth facial wrinkles, but it can also be an effective treatment for some medical conditions—including chronic migraine. Clinical trials have shown that Botox can reduce the number of days in which people with chronic migraine experience headache pain.
Botox for chronic migraine consists of 31 injections in the head and neck every 12 weeks. Injection sites include the forehead, temples, back of the head, upper neck, and the junction of the shoulder and the neck. Each treatment takes about 2 minutes, and the injections have been described as feeling like tiny pinpricks.
Botox has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a preventative treatment for chronic migraine, which is characterized by headaches that occur at least 15 days per month and last four hours or more. Insurance companies usually require people to try other preventative medications before they will cover Botox for chronic migraine.
You may be a good candidate for Botox injections if you are an adult suffering from chronic migraine headaches. Botox is not FDA approved for people with migraine who have 14 or fewer headache days per month.
Because Botox can cause serious side effects, it is important to tell your doctor about any other medical conditions you have and any medications you take. You may be at higher risk for serious side effects, such as difficulty swallowing or breathing, if you have neuromuscular conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome.
You should not receive Botox injections if you have had an allergic reaction to any botulinum, including:
Information and Resources About Botox for Chronic Migraine
- Date of last review: May 1, 2018
- Author: Kerry Knievel, DO