Botox is said to affect about 12% of the American population. With throbbing pain that often causes dizziness and nausea, patients are usually unable to function on their headache days which could count as many as 15 or 16 days per month. This kind of pain is disabling as it affects the overall quality of the patient’s life in addition to his or her productivity, professional and social relationships. This is why patients and doctors are always exploring available botox for migraines treatment in order to alleviate some of the pain and the side effects that botox has when used for migraines. Botox(1) has been approved by the FDA to treat migraines.
The treatment doesn’t promise a permanent cure and has some potential side effects. Still, a lot of patients are willing to give it a try in order to have some pain-free days every month.
How is Botox for Migraines Treatment Used?
The FDA’s protocol suggests that Botox injections should be given every 10 to 12 months around the face and the neck area. The treatment doesn’t immediately treat the symptoms. But it gradually works to reduce the intensity of the pain and the frequency of the attacks. Typically, the doctor will administer 31 shots into 7 pre-marked spots in the head and neck. The total number of units should typically amount to 155 units. Some patients might use a fewer number of injections and units depending on their weight and health status.
The results vary among individual patients but they can last up to 3 months. As the results start to wear off, patients are typically scheduled for another treatment. Not all patients are eligible for Botox shots. Only the ones who have been professionally diagnosed with chronic migraines would benefit from such treatments. Patients who suffer from stress-related headaches, for example, will experience no improvement with repeated Botox injections.
What Should You Look Out For?
Botox treatments should only be done by a certified and trained doctor to avoid any adverse effects. While some patients report some minor side effects like neck pain and blurry vision, others might find them intolerable. These could be avoided, however, if the doctor starts with a smaller dose to see if it works for that particular patient. Sometimes, the Botox will spread beyond the injection site, in a case known as botulism.
This is characterized by troubles swallowing and breathing. As the Botox wears off, patients will start to experience fewer problems. Droopy eyelids represent another major cosmetic concern that could be the result of injecting Botox for migraines. Some patients would be put off by the whole treatment plan just to avoid such a potential side effect that could deeply affect their personal and social lives. It is worth mentioning that the FDA doesn’t recommend using Botox for treating patients who face less than 15 migraine days per month.
These patients should seek alternative treatments as Botox might not be the best option for them. Botox for migraines treatment shouldn’t be done too frequently even if the patient doesn’t experience much improvement. A proper doctor’s consultation will help you decide on the adequacy of the treatment.
Article Resources: (1) http://www.botox.com/