Botox Injections – A Cure for Migraines?

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Even people who have never entered a facial cosmetic clinic to receive Botox injections are familiar with the name and what it can do.  Botulinum toxin for the purpose of smoothing out facial lines and wrinkles is well known, thanks to magazine and newspaper articles, social media, and TV talk shows.  What people probably don’t know is that Botox was approved for many medical uses long before being approved for cosmetic use.  Botulinum toxin is a protein derived from bacteria and has been used therapeutically for several decades.

There are many different strains of Botulinum toxin, but type A is the bacteria that has the ability to block over-active nerve impulses that cause excessive muscle activity or glandular activity.  When the proper amount of Botulinum toxin is injected, it can reduce the frequency of urination due to an overactive bladder, reduce severe underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis), treat abnormal spasms of the eyelid (blepharospasms), and other eye muscle disorders as well as upper limb spasticity.

After many years of study, Botox injections were also approved to alleviate chronic migraines.  Chronic is defined as causing headaches in the sufferer more than 14 days a month and 4 hours or longer each day.  Migraine headaches are not considered normal headaches because of the extreme throbbing, pulsing pain.  Sometimes migraines are called “sick headaches” because they not only affect the head, but cause the person to be nauseous, with extreme sensitivity to light and sound.  Because of this, migraine headaches are debilitating for the sufferer and affect family life, careers, and the person’s general psyche.

So how do the injections reduce migraines?  Botox injections into the muscles reduce the muscles’ activity and the overactive contractions, which greatly contribute to the onset of the headaches.  The relaxed muscles dull future headache symptoms.  31 injections into 7 specific areas of the head and neck are administered approximately 12 weeks apart.  Regulated doses in the side and back of the head, the forehead, brows, and eye areas are effective.  Although Botox only offers temporary relief for the participant, it has significantly reduced headaches for a period of 3 to 6 months. Following this, the patient would need to return for another set of injections.

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Botox side effects are rare and are much less common than the migraines.  There is the potential of botulism, causing swallowing and breathing difficulties if the proper dosage is not injected.  For that reason, only an expert Botox injector should be used for these types of treatments. Allergan is the manufacturer of Botox.  It is a global pharmaceutical company that was founded in Irvine, California, in 1948 (most recently purchased by Growth Pharma in 2015). 

Allergan calls migraines a “distinct and severe neurological disorder”.  They are very proud that their product has provided relief to thousands of chronic migraine patients worldwide.  More clinical studies have been conducted on Botox than most other drugs because of its high rate of success and the belief that Botulinum toxin can be used to help treat many other medical disorders in the future.

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Before & After

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*Disclaimer: Similar and/or permanent results are not guaranteed based on the treatment/procedure and may vary from patient to patient, based on multiple factors, including genetics and lifestyle of each patient.*

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