Botox® for migraine
Migraine headache is like no other headache. Sufferers describe their headaches as being excruciatingly painful, often beyond description. Nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound often accompany migraine.
As a family physician with over 20 years of experience with migraine patients, I have learned to appreciate the incapacitating misery endured by these patients. Seeing patients that have to continue to work or carry on family activities with a migraine has impressed me with the strength and courage of these people.
An estimated 28 million Americans suffer from migraine with more women than men having the condition. A migraine can last from hours to several days and sometimes longer. Fortunately, migraine headaches tend to fade away after age 50 for many patients.
About 20% of patients have an aura prior to the headache that may last about 30 minutes. During this period, patients may notice tingling sensations, flashing lights, wavy lines in their visual field and even partial loss of vision.
Treatment of migraine
Migraine headache patients have benefited greatly by numerous advances in the understanding and treatment of migraine in the last several decades. We now have effective medications for the treatment and prevention of migraine that have helped millions of patients. However, even with the best medicines available, some patients still suffer from uncontrolled migraine. Some of these patients may benefit from Botox injections to reduce the frequency of their attacks.
A good primary care physician can effectively treat most migraine patients. If patients do not get control of their migraines with conventional care, they should consider Botox as a treatment option.
Botox for Migraine
Botox can be very helpful for prevention of headaches in some patients who suffer frequent, severe migraine headaches.
Botox was first approved for human use in 1989 for certain muscle spasms. It was subsequently approved for the cosmetic treatment of glabellar (frown) lines in 2002. Physicians noticed, over time, that many cosmetic Botox patients reported significant reduction in the frequency of their migraines.
After clinical trials to test the effectiveness of Botox in the prevention of migraine headache, it was approved for this purpose in 2010.
To qualify for Botox treatment, a migraine patient must have 15 or more days per month with headache lasting four hours a day or longer.
We have 12 years of experience using Botox in our clinic. If you are disabled by migraine of this frequency and duration, you should call for an appointment at Déjà Vu Skin & Vein Center. We will take a careful history and help you decide if Botox might be beneficial for you.
Most insurance companies, including Medicare, cover Botox injections for migraine prevention in patients who meet the severity requirements listed above.
Clovis E. Manley, MD
Déjà Vu Skin & Vein Center