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Botox for Migraines

Botox for Migraines

Botox is a product licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) especially for the treatment of a chronic migraine. It is a form of the botulinum toxin which is a neurotoxic substance produced by a bacteria which causes botulism.

This Botox botulinum toxin is subjected to purification and a few doses are applied in particular areas to get desired results in cosmetic treatment and other therapeutical purposes.

Working of Botox for migraines:

Botox injections for migraines cause an inhibition of the pain caused due to a chronic migraine through the reduction of the pain pathways where the nerve cells in the trigeminovascular system are involved. The trigeminovascular system includes a sensory pathway that plays a vital role during a headache arising out of a migraine attack.
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Botox is injected into the areas around the pain fibers in the head where the pain is experienced. Now it works by blocking the chemicals that are responsible for the transmission of pain signals which in turn obstructs the activation of pain networks present in the brain. It prevents a headache before they initiate but takes some time to show its effect. It has been observed that the patients experience the enhancement in benefits with the increasing number of treatment cycles.

The Botox treatment for migraines last for a period of 10-12 weeks and according to the experience of patients, 2 treatments are known to reduce a headache by half.

Application of Botox injections for migraines:

  • The application of the Botox injection, using a small needle, takes about 20 minutes.
  • 31 injections are included in each treatment, which is applied in 7 areas of the neck and head.
  • 6 months are needed for the effect of the treatment to be visible, meanwhile one can continue the normal medication without the fear of any interference between them.
  • The treatment can be administered to the adults above the age of 18. Since it is considered “off-label” when used for the treatment of children or adolescents, the insurance companies may not pay for it, in spite of being prescribed by the doctors.

Who can take Botox?

Patients suffering from a chronic migraine, in which a headache is known to occur for 15 or more days of a month out of which 8 days are with a migraine, can take Botox.

This is not the only way of treating migraine. One needs to consult with the doctor to know about other methods as well and then choose the one that best suits them. A visit to the migraine clinic would let the patient show all his medical history, according to which the treatment can be carried out.

Botox should be taken only from a trained injector who has received proper training regarding its diagnosis as well as treatment.

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Contraindications of Botox:

Botox is known to contraindicate in the following situations:

  1. When there is an injection in the site at which the injection is applied.
  2. Patients who are hypersensitive to botulinum toxin type A or to any constituents used for the formation of ‘Botox’.
  3. It might affect negatively during pregnancy, so must not be taken without doctor’s advice.
    Similarly, lactating mothers should avoid taking this as it can affect the newborn by passing through the milk.
  4. Patients having neurological problems such as difficulty in swallowing are at greater risk of having side effects from Botox. Persons with peripheral motor neuropathic diseases also require extra caution while being administered with the doses.
  5. Patients having neuromuscular disorders might face severe side-effects such as acute dysphagia and respiratory compromise on the application of typical doses of BOTOX.
  6. It is necessary to exercise extreme caution in case of the patients having certain problems such as dysphagia which is the difficulty swallowing and aspiration which occurs on inhaling foreign bodies, like the stomach contents, into the airways.
  7. It is essential to carefully administer the Botox injection if the muscles of the target site have weakened.
  8. A Sore neck can occur after the Botox shots which can be reduced using an ice pack.

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Botox for migraines side effects:

In the clinical trials, it has been found that 26% people reported about the side-effects after completion of the first treatment, which reduced to 11% after completing the second treatment. Also, 9% pee reported that their headache worsened.

The side-effects are known to occur in the first few days after applying the injection, but they are not long-lasting.

The following side-effects can occur when a person is administered with the Botox doses for a migraine:

  1. A rare occurrence of immediate and serious hypersensitivity reactions such as anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), serum sickness, urticaria (hives), soft tissue edema (fluid retention) and dyspnoea (breathlessness).
  2. Sometimes the toxins spread to other places leading to the death of the person which are sometimes associated with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), pneumonia and/or weakness.
  3. Some patients who undergo the therapeutic treatment might experience pronounced muscle weakness.
  4. One might face local infection due to the injection resulting in pain, pain, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, bleeding, bruising, etc.
  5. The treatment might lead to asthenia (lack of strength), muscle weakness, somnolence (drowsiness), dizziness and visual disturbance, which can cause problems while driving or operating a machine.
  6. It is recommended to discontinue the injections when there are severe problems related to swallowing, speech or respiratory disorders arise.
  7. It is essential for a person to try for other methods of treatment before going for the Botox injections for a migraine, through consultation with the doctor. In case of failure in the other methods, this method of treatment can be adopted.

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