When you have chronic migraine, your main goal is to find the most effective treatment to prevent it from happening. It is very frustrating when the traditional options that promise to alleviate the symptoms or reduce the occurrence of the attacks fail to meet your expectations. This is where Botox injections for chronic migraines come in handy. This treatment is known to convert migraine attacks from chronic to episodic.
How does Botox treatment work in migraine?
While Botox or Botulinum toxin injections are known for wrinkle prevention, it is now used as a treatment for certain medical conditions like overactive bladder, spasticity, cervical dystonia, chronic migraine, and more.
When administered through injections, chronic migraine Botox gets into the body’s small nerves, blocking the feedback pathway that triggers headaches and migraine symptoms. These tiny nerve receptors are also called C-fibres, carrying pain to the brain. Botox interrupts them from doing their job that perpetuates chronic migraine attacks.
The toxin comes from Clostridium botulinum and is harnessed in its purest form for the prophylaxis of severe headache among adult patients. It is approved and licensed as a treatment for people who experienced 15 days of headaches every month, where at least 8 days display symptoms of migraine attacks.
Is it effective for all patients?
Like any other treatments, the results vary depending on the response and adaptability of the body to the agent. There is always a possibility that one in every four patients will not experience optimum relief after the treatment. To enjoy the maximum effects of Botox treatment, it is crucial to get 2 sets of injections at a 12-week interval. It is also safe to get more treatment if necessary.
According to studies, about 47% of people who chose to have Botox for their chronic migraines experienced a 50% or more reduction in migraine attacks and headaches. It is also important to take note that the biological effects of Botox do not happen overnight or a few hours after the injections. It typically takes several days, even weeks to arrest the symptoms of your chronic migraine. There are also instances that patients only feel the improvement of their conditions after their second set of Botox injections.
Who is eligible to get the injection?
Not all sufferers of chronic migraines can get this injectable treatment. If you are a breastfeeding mother or pregnant, you cannot have Botox injections for chronic migraines. Also excluded in the list are people with Bell’s palsy, Myasthenia Gravis, and other types of neurological disease. If you also recently had a cosmetic Botox treatment within 3 months, it is not advisable to get one for your chronic migraine condition because it may increase the adverse effects.
What do you need to tell your doctor during the screening?
Finding the best doctor or specialist that is well-experienced in administering Botox. It will give you peace of mind, knowing that you are in good hands. While Botox injection is safe and quick, it is a sensitive process that requires expertise and knowledge about the anatomy of key injection areas.
You need to tell the doctor if:
- Had previous problems with injections like fainting or getting dizzy
- Had inflammation or weakness in the skin or muscle of the included treatment area
- Had encountered problems during your past Botox injections
- Had surgery in the area where the Botox will be injected
- Will undergo surgical procedure soon
- Suffering from a certain type of disease that affects the nervous system
- Had trouble swallowing food or drinks, or had incidence where the liquid went into the lungs
- Having chronic diseases that affect your muscles
- At the risk of developing closed-angle glaucoma or already have it
- Taking blood-thinning medicine
Hiding these facts can heighten possible side effects, so be honest to your doctor.
What are the side effects that you might experience?
The Botox procedure usually takes less than 5 minutes when you have a good and well-trained practitioner. After the first set of your Botox injections, you will be advised to stay for a while to ensure that you do not have an acute allergic reaction to the substance. Afterward, you can continue your usual daily routine and follow the care instructions at home.
The side effects that some patients experience include:
- A worsening migraine that occurs within the day or two after the treatment and can last for a few days
- Itchiness and rashes
- Bruising, pain, bleeding, or infection
- Weakness of the muscle, cramps, tightness, or stiffness
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Swollen eyelid
- Skin soreness
- Jaw pain
- Hives, swelling, wheezing or feeling faint
- Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing or speaking.
When you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor immediately for proper treatment and medication.
If you believe that chronic migraine Botox treatment can help you enjoy a quality life that is free from the excruciating pain and discomfort of chronic migraines, visit a reputable clinic now.