Botox® for Migraines: Does It Work?

If you have been diagnosed with migraine and get migraine headaches often, you may wonder if there’s anything you can do to prevent them.

OnabotulinumtoxinA, or Botox® was approved in 2010 for adults who get chronic migraines. That means you have both:

  • A history of migraine headaches
  • Headaches (including tension-type) on most days (15 or more) of the month of which 8 are migraine

It won’t work for you if you:

  • Get headaches 14 or fewer days each month
  • Have other types of headaches, like cluster

What Is Botox®?

Botox is a neurotoxin, produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin injections block chemical signals from nerves that cause muscles to contract.  The most common use is to temporarily relax the facial muscles that cause wrinkles.

It also helps people who have tics and spasms because of a nerve disease like cerebral palsy.

When patients who had a history of migraine headaches used Botox to treat their wrinkles, they told their doctors that their headaches were better. So, doctors began to study it as a migraine pain treatment.

Does Botox® Work for Migraine Headaches?

In a study of adults who get chronic migraine headaches, injections of Botox® cut down the total number of days they had them or even other types of headaches. They also had more “crystal-clear” – pain-free — days each month, and they reported fewer days off work.

In another study, nearly half the people who had two rounds of Botox® treatment reported that the number of days they had a headache each month was cut in half. After five rounds of treatment, that increased to about 70% of the people.

Doctors think Botox works for migraine headaches because it blocks chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from your brain. Botox is like a roadblock in that pathway. It stops the chemicals before they get to the nerve endings around your head and neck.

Botox® Treatment

You’ll get several injections of Botox® around your head and neck once every 12 weeks to dull or prevent migraine headaches.

You may need 30 to 40 injections in all.  You may notice results as soon as 2 to 3 weeks after your first treatment.

You should only get this type of Botox® treatment from a doctor who’s trained to give these shots for chronic migraine headaches rather than for wrinkles or other cosmetic uses.  Dr. Webster at Oregon Coast Plastic Surgery is highly qualified and routinely performs this treatment at his Coos Bay office.  Call today to schedule a consult.

Oregon Coast Plastic Surgery March Special

Oregon Coast Plastic Surgery is offering Botox® $9/unit plus an additional $50 off this treatment and next treatment for the first 10 patients who call to schedule with nurse Bre during the month of March. Minimum of 20-unit treatment required. Free cosmetic consults are also available. Contact us today!

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