Dr. Chasin joins News 12 NJ to share the good news with migraine suffers in New Jersey – Botox has been approved by the FDA to treat chronic migraines2 . The popular beauty treatment works well to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines4.
Physicians aren’t sure exactly how the treatment works at this time, but we do know Botox injections reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines for patients who receive the treatment, including reducing the number of days patients used acute migraine medications (those which work to lessen a migraine in the short-term) and migraine-induced vommiting 4. Not all migraine sufferers are ideal candidates for treatment with Botox. Botox is fda-approved to treat chronic migraine2, which is defined as migraines that occur for more than 15 days each month.
When compared to the prescription Topiramate (TOPAMAX®) for preventing migraines, Botox appears to just as effective at reducing the number of migraines suffered, but produces adverse events in significantly fewer patients than the prescription medication (2.7% vs. 24.1% for Topamax)3. This study documented Botox’s comparable effects to Topamax waned after month 9, so patients are advised to seek retreatment with Botox for migraines at or around month 9. We tend to recommend earlier rather than later follow-up for patients, so migraine frequency doesn’t increase as the botox wears off.
Injections for migraine treatment with Botox are different than injections for wrinkle-relaxing with Botox. Botox injected to relieve migraines is specialized and advanced injection technique, and you should select a provider who has received specialized training in this type of injection. Botox for migraines is injected into the muscles of the face and neck, usually covering over 30 different injection sites, and with a different dosing schedule and depth than is used for wrinkle relaxing 4.
Many patients complain of migraines, but have never been formally diagnosed by a headache specialist. It’s important to seek formal diagnosis because migraines occasionally signal larger concerns, but are also often well-controlled by prescription medications. Botox injections for migraine relief are only approved for those suffering intense, chronic migraines that are not well-controlled on other medicines (without adverse events).
If you think you have migraines that could be treated with Botox, but haven’t seen a specialist, start here:
- Step 1: See your primary care physician to discuss your headaches and symptoms: If they agree you are suffering from migraines, move on to step 2.
- Step 2: See a neurologist who specializes in headache and migraine medicine: If they agree Botox injections may help your chronic migraines, move on to step 3
- Step 3: Find a specialized injection, like Dr. Mitchell Chasin, who is experienced with and knowledgeable about Botox injections for migraine relief
If you’re ready to see a specialist for Botox for migraine relief, please call our office at (732) 356-1666 today.
1. William J Binder, MD, FACS, Mitchell F Brin, MD, Andrew Blitzer, MD, FACS, Larry D Schoenrock, MD, FACS, Janice M Pogoda, PhD; Botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX) for treatment of migraine headaches: An open-label study; Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery,Volume 123, Issue 6, December 2000, Pages 669–676
3. Mathew, N. T. and Jaffri, S. F. A. (2009), A Double-Blind Comparison of OnabotulinumtoxinA (BOTOX®) and Topiramate (TOPAMAX®) for the Prophylactic Treatment of Chronic Migraine: A Pilot Study . Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 49: 1466–1478. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2009.01566.x
4. Silberstein, S., Mathew, N., Saper, J., Jenkins, S. and for the BOTOX Migraine Clinical Research Group (2000), Botulinum Toxin Type A as a Migraine Preventive Treatment. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 40: 445–450. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.2000.00066.x