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I’ve suffered with migraines on and off for about 5 years. Just lately, the oral remedy I’ve used appears to be much less efficient. Whereas I do know newer medicines can be found, a good friend instructed I attempt Botox injections. She swears it introduced her continual complications below management. How protected are these injections, and the way does Botox work? What’s the therapy schedule, and would I additionally must be on different headache medicine, too?

ANSWER: Onabotulinum toxin A, or Botox, was authorized by the Meals and Drug Administration in 2010 to deal with continual migraine complications. It’s not a treatment. Individuals who obtain Botox injections for complications often get the therapy about each three months.

For some, that’s all they should maintain their complications below management. For others, extra medicine or different headache remedy is important. Analysis is ongoing about new types of migraine remedy.

Botox is a medicine that makes use of a type of to briefly paralyze muscle exercise. Finest recognized for its capability to cut back the looks of facial wrinkles, Botox additionally has been proven to stop continual migraine complications in some individuals. It’s used primarily for many who have complications 15 or extra days per thirty days.

Since 2002, medical doctors at Mayo Clinic have handled hundreds of sufferers with continual migraine successfully and safely utilizing Botox. The medicine usually is injected into muscular tissues of the brow, scalp, neck and shoulders.

The particular particulars of how Botox works to stop complications aren’t recognized. However it’s probably that the injected Botox is taken up by ache receptors within the muscular tissues’ nerves. The medicine then deactivates these and blocks ache indicators that the nerves ship to the mind.

The ache doesn’t go away completely, nevertheless. After a number of months, the nerves sprout new ache fibers, and the complications are likely to return. The Botox impact often lasts about 2½ months. As a result of injections are repeated no earlier than each three months, some individuals want different headache therapies for the final two weeks of a Botox cycle.

Offering Botox therapy for complications each three months is a nationwide customary, as really useful by the American Headache Society. The therapies aren’t given extra usually on account of a small chance that for those who obtain Botox extra steadily, your physique would possibly construct up antibodies to botulinum toxin. These antibodies might in concept forestall Botox from working with future injections.

For many individuals, therapy with Botox alone is ample to regulate their continual complications. Nevertheless, some individuals require extra care, together with extra medicines to stop migraine assaults. These might embrace cardiovascular medication, similar to and ; sure antidepressants; and a few anti-seizure medicines. Drugs taken on the time of a migraine headache additionally may be helpful.

The commonest negative effects of Botox injection embrace swelling or bruising on the injection website. Uncommonly, the medicine might unfold into close by tissues and trigger issues, similar to a drooping eyelid, eyebrows that look misplaced, dry eyes or extreme eye tearing. This tends to occur extra in individuals who have already got some eye drooping or are extra delicate to botulinum toxin. Typically, altering the injections to a barely totally different location can cut back this facet impact.

Though uncommon, it’s attainable that the impact of botulinum toxin might unfold to different components of the physique and trigger signs similar to , , bother talking or swallowing, or issue respiration. Medical doctors typically suggest towards utilizing Botox if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding as a result of the ‘s results on a fetus aren’t recognized.

Botox injections are costly. They will price a number of thousand {dollars} per set of injections. Many will cowl the injections if a affected person meets standards for continual migraine headache. For not less than three months, an individual will need to have a occurring on 15 or extra days per thirty days that has the options of a on not less than eight days per thirty days. It’s best to talk to a well being care skilled about choices.

Earlier than transferring ahead with Botox injections, be sure to are below the care of a licensed and expert well being care skilled. Botox may be harmful whether it is given incorrectly, so it is necessary that these injections be administered by a doctor, nurse or one other specialist with expertise utilizing them for continual complications.

I like to recommend asking for a referral out of your major care supplier or neurologist. A talented and correctly educated well being care skilled can focus on the process with you intimately and aid you resolve if it matches your wants.

Knowledgeable explains how Botox injections assist relieve continual migraine

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Q&A: Botox for migraines (2022, September 20)
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