Botox Treatment For Migraines

If you're thinking about Botox treatment for migraines, there are a few key things you need to know.  For example, is there a better treatment to try first?  Is it safe?  What is the Botox treatment like?  Let's try to answer some of these questions.

Why Botox for Migraines?

Botox treatment for migraines
Botox is actually a brand name.  We're actually talking about botulinum toxin A, famous for getting rid of wrinkles.

Botulinum toxin is produced by bacteria, and is actually a poison.  But it's injected in very small quantities not only to fight wrinkles but also to fight migraine.

When it comes to Botox treatment for migraines, we need to clarify one thing.  It's not actually a treatment for individual migraine attacks, but a preventative treatment which needs to be repeated from time to time.  (There are actually other ways to treat migraine with Botox, which we'll talk about in a moment).

So how exactly does Botox fight migraine?  To go into more detail, be sure to read Botox for Migraine.

Migraine Fighting vs Information Gathering

Botox injections alone have been helpful to many people when it comes to fighting migraine attacks.  But there's another type of Botox treatment for migraines, in which the Botox is basically used to "gather information".

In this scenario, the Botox is used to find out which muscles may be triggering migraine attacks.  When problem areas are found, it's surgery that is used to keep those muscles from triggering attacks.

This is a controversial approach for a number of reasons.  You can find out more in the article linked to above.  Here's one doctor who is trying this type of Botox treatment for migraines.

Does it really work?

So far, the answer seems to be yes and no.  There have been a number of conflicting studies on the use of Botox for migraine patients.  In the end, one thing is clear - some patients have been helped.

Why some and not others?  The first and most obvious reason is that migraine patients are all different.  There are no treatments that work for everyone.  As more trials are run and more people use Botox, we hope to get a better idea of who is helped and why.

The other reason is simply that Botox treatment for migraines is still a relatively new treatment (in the USA, Botox was approved for treatment of chronic migraine in late 2010, and in Canada in 2011).  How should the Botox be injected?  How many injections?  Where?  Doctors have different answers to these questions.

Here's the important thing to remember for now.  If you're thinking of trying Botox, go to a specialist who has significant experience in treating migraine.  Talk to them about how they will treat you, and why.  It's worth the time to find the right doctor in the first place.

What is Botox treatment like?

To learn more about Botox and migraine or headache treatment, read this article.  A Botox treatment may last 3-4 months, but it may take three or four treatments before you can really tell if it will work for you.

Should I try it?

Finally, here are a few things to consider if you're seriously considering trying this type of migraine treatment.
  • Talk to a doctor who knows your medical history.  This is probably the most important thing, and it will save you a lot of trouble as you search for the treatments that are right for you.
  • Don't try Botox first.  There are more treatments for migraine today than one person can try in a lifetime.  Botox is better than many of them, but not completely without risk.  Again, talk to your doctor about what other options you might have.  To get started, read How to treat a migraine.
  • Find a specialist with experience in treating migraine with Botox.  A treatment from one specialist may work, while a slightly different treatment from another may not.  The more experience and success a specialist has, the better your chances.
  • Give the treatment time to work.  Some people experience almost instant relief, but you may not.  You'll need to give it a few months to know for sure.  Meanwhile, be sure to keep a migraine diary.
  • Keep up with the latest news on Botox for migraine here.
  • How to be Safe with Botox (10 tips)
Read some basic safety information related to Botox treatment for migraines and headaches here.

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