June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.Medically reviewed by Dr. Rashmi B. Halker Singh
You’ve heard of Botox as a beauty process — however do you know that Botox can also be used as a therapy for a number of medical circumstances, together with migraine illness?
We wished to be taught extra about how Botox might help with this debilitating illness, so we reached out to Dr. Rashmi B. Halker Singh, a headache neurologist and member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Council who additionally has firsthand expertise with migraine, to see what she has to say.
What is migraine illness?
Migraine is a neurological, genetic illness that has a posh group of signs, together with head ache, gentle and sound sensitivity, nausea, and hassle concentrating. Migraine impacts a few billion folks worldwide — together with one in 5 ladies. Though it’s a standard situation, its signs are sometimes underrecognized. While many are aware of migraine as a kind of headache, a migraine assault truly has 4 levels: prodrome, aura, headache and postdrome.
To assist consider whether or not recurrent headache assaults might be migraine, Halker Singh recommends utilizing the mnemonic “PIN.”
- P: Photophobia, the medical time period for gentle sensitivity
- I: Impairment, that means you don’t really feel such as you’re working in your regular cognitive stage
- N: Nausea
If recurrent complications are accompanied by two out of the three signs outlined by “PIN,” there's a good probability that you simply’re experiencing migraine complications — versus different varieties of headache, like rigidity complications or sinus complications.
What is Botox and the way can it deal with continual migraine?
Botox is a model of botulinum neurotoxin that has been constituted of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Although it’s most well-known for its wrinkle-diminishing talents, Botox remedies may assist lazy eye, extreme sweating (hyperhidrosis), bladder dysfunction and muscle contractions in addition to continual migraine.
Botox has been formally authorised, and controlled, by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a therapy for migraine since 2010. Experts nonetheless aren't precisely positive how Botox helps forestall migraine assaults, however the present understanding is that Botox seemingly helps with migraine by stopping ache transmission.
Botox may be very profitable at stopping migraine assaults. In reality, sufferers report that after two botox remedies, their variety of headache days reduces by 50%. A research within the Journal of Headache and Pain discovered that after the third therapy, folks with continual migraine reported lowered headache depth and frequency of headache treatment taken as effectively.
“In clinical trials, on average, patients experience 40 hours less of migraine attacks per month with [Botox], but in my own personal clinical practice, I've seen responses vary significantly,” Halker Singh mentioned. She defined that, in individuals who discover Botox useful, responses vary from full reduction to fewer migraine assaults.
Who can obtain Botox for migraine?
Botox is a preventive therapy particularly for continual migraine, which impacts 3%-5% of the U.S. inhabitants. In order to be identified with continual migraine, headache assaults should meet migraine standards. In addition, you could expertise any sort of headache 15 days a month, and for a minimum of eight of these days, your headache assault should both meet migraine standards or be prevented by treatment earlier than it will get to that time. Finally, this sample have to be steady for a minimum of three months.
If you assume it's possible you'll be a candidate for a continual migraine prognosis — and Botox remedy — Halker Singh recommends utilizing a headache diary. “Sometimes when people come in to see me in the clinic, they’re really interested in finding treatment and sometimes what they prioritize is their worst attacks,” Halker Singh defined. “What's really helpful and important to know is what’s happening on those other days. So a headache diary can be really helpful to clarify because if they have any kind of headache on other days, they might have chronic migraine,” she mentioned.
Because the FDA has authorised botox therapy for continual migraine assaults, most insurance coverage firms will cowl these remedies, however every insurance coverage firm is totally different. Some require you to undergo a course of referred to as step remedy first, which can embrace making an attempt different drugs earlier than approving Botox. It’s essential to inform your HCP about all of the remedies you’ve tried to allow them to make an knowledgeable resolution about one of the best subsequent steps for you.
How are Botox remedies given?
Botox remedies for therapy of migraine include 31 injections, focusing on seven key muscle teams within the head and neck. Though this will likely look like lots of photographs, appointments solely final round 20 minutes, and the skinny needles make the process extra snug, too. Treatments are administered each 12 weeks.
Should you attempt Botox in your migraine illness?
Botox is taken into account a wonderful therapy for continual migraine as a result of it's FDA-approved and usually well-tolerated. If you’re contemplating utilizing Botox to deal with your migraine illness, make sure you discuss to your HCP about any potential unwanted side effects.
The backside line is that Botox might be an efficient therapy for continual migraine and has been discovered to enhance sufferers’ high quality of life. If you reside with continual migraine, verify along with your healthcare supplier to search out out if Botox is an choice for you.
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