OnabotulinumtoxinA (known as Botox-A or Botox) is commonly used in cosmetic dermatology procedures to block signals from the nerves to relax the muscles, softening the resulting lines particularly on the forehead, in crow’s feet and frown lines. In 2010, it gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval as a migraine treatment for those who experience 15 or more migraines per month.
Botox treatments for migraines are typically given once every three months, with treatments involving 25-30 small injections at a time, with treatments spanning across a 15-month period. Doctors inject multiple doses of Botox in various points, such as the bridge of the nose, the temples, the forehead, the neck, back of the head and upper back. The expense may be covered by insurance, but it is quite costly otherwise.
While thought to be promising and still commonly used as a migraine treatment, a 2012 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed 27 trials that compared Botox to placebo and four studies that compared it to other migraine treatments. The findings? That Botox injections were not effective for preventing migraines in patients with less than 15 headaches per month, and those with more than 15 episodes a month had only two fewer migraines per month. While two few less is still less, those who opt for Botox will still need other options for migraine relief in conjuction, such as prescription pills, over-the counter options or alternative topical pain relief like Stopain Migraine. If you are thinking of getting Botox for migraines, first consult with a reputable physician and talk to others who have experienced the treatment.