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Botox and Migraine: What You Have to Know

June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.Medically reviewed by Dr. Rashmi B. Halker Singh

You’ve heard of Botox as a beauty process — however do you know that Botox can be used as a therapy for a number of medical situations, together with migraine illness?

We wished to be taught extra about how Botox may also help with this debilitating illness, so we reached out to Dr. Rashmi B. Halker Singh, a headache neurologist and member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Council who additionally has firsthand experience with migraine, to see what she has to say.

What’s migraine illness?

Migraine is a neurological, genetic illness that has a fancy group of signs, together with head ache, mild and sound sensitivity, nausea, and hassle concentrating. Migraine impacts about a billion people worldwide — together with one in 5 girls. Although it’s a typical situation, its signs are sometimes underrecognized. Whereas many are accustomed to migraine as a kind of headache, a migraine attack truly has four stages: prodrome, aura, headache and postdrome.

To assist consider whether or not recurrent headache assaults may very well be migraine, Halker Singh recommends utilizing the mnemonic “PIN.”

  • P: Photophobia, the medical time period for mild sensitivity
  • I: Impairment, that means you don’t really feel such as you’re working in your regular cognitive stage
  • N: Nausea

If recurrent complications are accompanied by two out of the three signs outlined by “PIN,” there may be a good chance that you’re experiencing migraine headaches — versus different forms of headache, like tension headaches or sinus headaches.

What’s Botox and the way can it deal with continual migraine?

Botox is a model of botulinum neurotoxin that has been comprised of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Though it’s most well-known for its wrinkle-diminishing talents, Botox treatments can also help lazy eye, extreme sweating (hyperhidrosis), bladder dysfunction and muscle contractions in addition to continual migraine.

Botox has been formally authorised, and controlled, by the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) as a therapy for migraine since 2010. Consultants nonetheless aren’t precisely certain how Botox helps forestall migraine assaults, however the present understanding is that Botox seemingly helps with migraine by stopping ache transmission.

Botox could be very profitable at stopping migraine assaults. Actually, sufferers report that after two botox therapies, their number of headache days reduces by 50%. A study within the Journal of Headache and Pain discovered that after the third therapy, individuals with continual migraine reported lowered headache depth and frequency of headache remedy taken as properly.

“In medical trials, on common, sufferers expertise 40 hours much less of migraine assaults monthly with [Botox], however in my very own private medical observe, I’ve seen responses range considerably,” Halker Singh stated. She defined that, in individuals who discover Botox useful, responses vary from full reduction to fewer migraine assaults.

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Who can obtain Botox for migraine?

Botox is a preventive therapy particularly for continual migraine, which impacts 3%-5% of the U.S. inhabitants. With a view to be identified with continual migraine, headache assaults should meet migraine standards. As well as, you should expertise any kind of headache 15 days a month, and for a minimum of eight of these days, your headache assault should both meet migraine standards or be prevented by remedy earlier than it will get to that time. Lastly, this sample should be steady for a minimum of three months.

Should you assume you might be a candidate for a continual migraine prognosis — and Botox remedy — Halker Singh recommends utilizing a headache diary. “Typically when individuals are available to see me within the clinic, they’re actually excited by discovering therapy and generally what they prioritize is their worst assaults,” Halker Singh defined. “What’s actually useful and vital to know is what’s taking place on these different days. So a headache diary will be actually useful to make clear as a result of if they’ve any type of headache on different days, they may have continual migraine,” she stated.

As a result of the FDA has authorised botox therapy for continual migraine assaults, most insurance coverage firms will cowl these therapies, however every insurance coverage firm is totally different. Some require you to undergo a course of known as step therapy first, which can embody attempting different medicines earlier than approving Botox. It’s vital to inform your HCP about all of the therapies you’ve tried to allow them to make an knowledgeable resolution about the perfect subsequent steps for you.

How are Botox therapies given?

Botox therapies for therapy of migraine include 31 injections, focusing on seven key muscle teams within the head and neck. Although this will seem to be loads of photographs, appointments solely final round 20 minutes, and the skinny needles make the process extra comfy, too. Remedies are administered each 12 weeks.

Do you have to attempt Botox in your migraine illness?

Botox is taken into account a wonderful therapy for continual migraine as a result of it’s FDA-approved and usually well-tolerated. Should you’re contemplating utilizing Botox to deal with your migraine illness, make sure to discuss to your HCP about any potential negative effects.

The underside line is that Botox will be an efficient therapy for continual migraine and has been discovered to improve patients’ quality of life. Should you reside with continual migraine, verify together with your healthcare supplier to search out out if Botox is an choice for you.

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