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Headache-Adviser Newsletter, Issue #20- Have You Tried Botox For Migraine Headaches?
November 08, 2009

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Have You Tried Botox Yet...?

In my last newsletter I had mentioned recent headache research results regarding Botox. The most recent clinical trials have shown a 75% response in treating chronic migraine.

So what exactly is a response? Well that is when a treatment shows a reduction in the frequency and pain levels of your headaches. There is a theory that Botox helps block glutamate and CGRP (calcitonin g receptor protein) both of which are involved in pain. Interestingly enough, other CGRP blockers have shown little promise in the past.

Did you answer the question yet? Have you considered Botox?

If you are seeing a headache specialist, it might be worth discussing for several reasons. As mentioned it might relieve your pain. Secondly, Botox for headache is appropriate for people who have difficulty swallowing pills or absorbing the pills (gastric bypass patients).

Many insurance companies in my area are now covering this..AND Medicare and Medicaid pay for Botox!

If you are approved as a patient, the injections are subdermal, just under the top layer of the skin. Injections are small, 0.1ml of saline with a few units of Botox in it. They are placed in the center of forehead and at the temples. If people have neck pain I will place them there also.

Generally it takes two rounds of injections, 90 days apart, before you may know if it is working. Most people who respond tell me they can see a difference in the first few months. Usually there is no response until 2-3 weeks have passed after the first set of injections.

When injections are given anywhere on the body there is always a chance of site reactions or allergic reaction. Infection may also happen.

Injections for headache are not the same as cosmetic or for muscular spasms. The amounts are different, so you really can't compare results for different indications.

So there you are! Everything you wanted to know about Botox but were afraid to ask. Think about asking your provider if you have taken many medications and nothing seems to be working.
Take care and I hope you are doing well...

Here's To Headache Free Days

Take care..

Mary Kay Betz, MS RPA-C
Physician Assistant

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