When a person experiences a chronic migraine, it can be disabling and debilitating. A headache of this type can sometimes last for days, and it will affect work, family, and social life. It is crucial for a person to have a variety of treatment options so this will be effective.
Migraine headaches are often referred to as “sick headaches,” mainly due to the fact that the person also has nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound, and sensitivity to light. One effective new migraine treatment is Botox.
Referred to as botulinum toxin, Botox is a neurotoxin produced by clostridium botulinum, which is an actual bacteria that produces gastrointestinal upset from food poisoning.
This toxin will paralyze the nerves of the body by blocking the release of acetylcholine – a substance that prevents muscle contractions and leads to paralysis. When acetylcholine enters food and that food is ingested, the illness which results is called botulism.
How Botox Is Used to Treat Migraines
Botox is now being used to treat chronic migraines at Chicago pain centers. It is given to the patient at intervals of 12 weeks for multiple injections around the head and neck, for the purpose of dulling future symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that it is necessary for patients who have migraines to discuss this option with their doctors, as Botox is not right for everyone. The maker of Botox, Allergan Inc., states that this drug is useful for chronic migraines, which is a distinct and severe neurological disorder characterized by headaches on 15 or more days of the month.
Qualified healthcare providers administer several Botox injections around specified sites of the head and neck. This is done to produce lasting results for up to three months. Migraine patients often try to use medications for instant relief, but over long-term, the headaches just keep getting worse.
With Botox, migraine headaches are improved. The FDA approved Botox to reduce the hours and days of pain related to this condition. Their approval was based on study results that involved over 1,300 adults in Europe and America. These results were published in a 2010 issue of the journal Cephalalgia, showing that Botox decreased the frequency of headache days.
Doctors do not know exactly how Botox treatments work for headaches, but they believe blocking nerve impulses that control certain muscles will relax and prevent spasms. Scientists also speculate that Botox blocks a certain protein that carries the pain message to a particular area of the brain.
Botox Side Effects
While Botox works for headaches in most patients, an adverse reaction can and does occasionally occur. The FDA placed a “box warning” on botulinium toxin A (Botox) and Botox Cosmetic.
This warning specifies that the drug can cause symptoms much like those related to botulism, which are breathing and swallowing difficulties. While there are no known cases of the spread of toxin in the body when used at the recommended dose, side effects that have occurred are blepharospasm, underarm sweating, and eye drooping.