Migraine headaches are characterized by painful, debilitating sensations in the brain, and patients are willing to try just about anything to find relief. Individuals with chronic migraines have to endure these severe headaches – that last between 4 and 72 hours – for 15 or more days every month. Their quality of life is adversely affected, with patients experiencing nausea accompanied with photo and phonophobia.
Various preventative therapies have been used to treat migraines, but one of them has gained momentum, namely botulinum toxin type A – also known as BOTOX®.
Isn’t Botox for Wrinkles?
Botox first came to the limelight in the 1990s and early 2000s as a wrinkle reducer. A few years later, researchers realized that Botox could be used to treat other conditions, and in 2010, the FDA approved it as a preventive treatment for chronic migraines.
Botox for Migraines – FDA Approved
Botox is administered through injection. The drug itself is made from Clostridium botulinum, a toxic bacterium that is also known to cause a deadly food poisoning called botulism.
When used for the treatment of migraines, Botox is administered once every three months, for a period of 15 months. The doctor injects multiple doses of the drug in specific points along the bridge of your nose, forehead, temples, neck, back of the head, and upper back. The treatment is aimed at reducing the symptoms of migraine headaches, which include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to smells, sounds, and lights.
Relief does not happen instantly. In fact, the American Headache Society claims that improvement can take between 10 and 14 days, while some may not experience any relief after their first set of injections: in which case, it is recommended that additional treatments be sought.
Should You Choose Botox Treatment?
Botox is recommended for individuals who do not tolerate migraine medication. It is to be used as an alternative solution.
Dr. Golshani may not recommend it until other treatment options have failed to adequately address your chronic migraines. Botox treatment for chronic migraines is safe, considering that there no serious complications or side effects. The most common effects of the injections include neck pain, temporary muscle weakness in the upper shoulders and neck, and stiffness at the injection site, which often resolves in only a few days.
It is an affordable option since most insurance providers cover the expense of Botox injections used for the treatment of chronic migraines, as opposed to cosmetic purposes (i.e. wrinkles).
In some cases, insurance companies require you to undergo other tests or procedures before they authorize Botox treatment.
Dr. Golshani offers Botox treatment in Beverly Hills for use in treating migraines, as well as for cosmetic purposes including reducing wrinkles and smoothing out facial skin. If you are interested in Botox treatment, then please call our office @ (310) 274-3481 to speak with a Botox specialist.