Botox Treatment For Migraine Patients
Botox is not just used for cosmetic surgeries to get rid of wrinkles but also as a treatment for migraine patients. Read more to find out how effective this treatment is.
Written by Kinkini Gupta | Updated: July 12, 2022, 3:31 PM IST
Botox a.k.a. a form of botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin produced by the bacteria that causes botulism, a rare but serious condition caused by toxins that attack the body’s nerves. When purified and used in small doses on specific parts of the body, it temporarily reduces muscle contractions in the injection site for about three months. This may not be common knowledge, but Botox is not just used for cosmetic surgeries like getting rid of wrinkles and other signs of ageing. Doctors use Botox as a treatment for migraine patients. This has been in use as a treatment option for migraine for a long time.
Effectiveness Of Botox Therapy
According to Dr Kaustubh Mahajan, a Consultant Neurologist at SL Raheja Hospital, “Patients with chronic migraine not only suffer from severe headaches but it’s a disabling neurological syndrome also causing depression, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and many other symptoms.” Dr Mahajan goes on to say that “Onabotulinum toxin A is commonly known by the brand name Botox and has been found very effective and well-tolerated in a patient with chronic migraine.” Dr Mahajan backed his statements with examples of research that proves the effectiveness of this. “The COMPEL study and PREEMPT trial have shown that Onabotulinum toxin A can be useful in refractory migraine cases as well where patients who continue to suffer from severe migraine in spite of being on usual oral medication respond to Botox,” he says.
Blocking The Release Of Pain Chemicals
The medicine used for this treatment is injected around the pain fibers related to headaches. As the Botox enters the nerve endings near the site of the injection, it blocks the release of chemicals that are the culprit of your migraine pain, preventing the activation of pain networks in the brain. As Dr Mahajan says, “Botox seems to work on both peripheral and central sensitization pain pathway mechanism in migraine.” With the help of Botox, the frequency of migraine reduces significantly or even completely. It works for migraine headaches because the medicine blocks neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from a person’s brain to their head and neck.
An Injection Every 3 Months
Experts say that a patient, who gets a Botox injection once, has to get it every three months. While Botox does work to prevent migraines before they start, this effect usually isn’t instantaneous, and some patients may not see effects until the second or third treatment cycle. The treatment cycle includes 30 injections for a patient around their temporal area and eyes. But this treatment is quite effective according to Dr Mahajan who says, “We have been using Botox injection for refractory patient cases with good response in the hospital of Mumbai.”