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Botox for Migraines: 6 Things You Need to Know

Published: 10/16/2012
Migraines

FDA approved Botox injections to treat chronic migraine in 2010. “Study results overall are mixed, but I’ve seen positive results,” says Sonia Lal, MD, assistant neurology professor at Loyola University Chicago, “when the number of treatments is adequate.”

According to a new analysis of data from the PREEMPT (Phase III Research Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy) trials, published in 2010 and involving 1,384 adults with chronic migraine, among those who received Botox injections, about 70 percent reduced headache-days-per-month by at least half by study-end at week 56. Treatment success is typically defined as migraine frequency and/or severity reduction of at least 50 percent. Botox-maker Allergan sponsored the trials and analysis.

Botox is not a one-size-fits-all procedure, says Dr. Lal. Consider these factors when deciding whether it’s right for you.

How It Works

Botox is injected into 31 sites around the head in a five-to-10-minute procedure administered at a doctor’s office. Though the mechanism is not fully understood, Botox is thought to prevent certain chemicals from reaching nerve endings, thereby reducing migraine pain. Effectiveness emerges roughly one week post-injection, peaks around six weeks, and fades around three months. In small doses, Botox is not poisonous to the body.

It’s Not Used As A First-Line Treatment

Botox is not the go-to treatment for migraineurs. It’s usually considered after having had poor results with other migraine treatments (for example, at least two prescription medications, from two separate medication classes). Most insurance companies cover Botox treatments if two medications were tried, both for at least two months, without migraine improvement.

It’s For Chronic Migraine

Botox injections are FDA-approved to treat people who have migraines (lasting four-plus hours) at least 15 days each month.

Proper Timing

One or two Botox treatments typically aren’t enough to assess responsiveness, says Dr. Lal. While some see improvements after one treatment, she says, patients often need at least three treatments, spaced three months apart.

Side Effects

When performed by an experienced doctor, Botox injections are generally safe. Still, mild side effects can occur. About nine percent of patients experience temporary neck pain, says Dr. Lal, about five percent, a post-procedure migraine. Other possible side effects include injection-site pain, and temporary swelling, redness, upset stomach, and rarely, drooping eyelids. Though highly unlikely, there’s a chance Botox may spread through the body and cause botulism symptoms. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should not use Botox.

Seek A Specialist

If, after consulting your doctor, you wish to explore Botox treatments, request a referral to a neurologist or headache specialist experienced with this procedure.

Would You consider Botox injections to treat chronic migraine? Why or why not?

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Comments

  1. Robin Piller says:

    I have been a migraine sufferer for more than 13 years and chronic migraine sufferer for at least 9 months now. I had my 1st Botox injection treatment just over 1 week ago…having a migrane at the time of treatment and left without it! I had some tingling on my head and a little inj site soreness afterwards. About 6 days after, I found I had severe drooping eyelids and my eyebrow area appeared swollen with fluid creating a lot of pinchable skin which feels like fluid is retained there…almost feeling like a “water on the knee” but on my brow area. This is one rare side effect…lucky me but I have no headaches. I wear rigid gas permeable contact lenses and suffer from seasonal pollen, etc. allergies so the last few days has not been good in that respect. Will the eye thing go away? Help!

    • My 1st time I couldnt move my left eyebrow. Told my Dr. so she injected higher yesterday and I’m fine….

  2. Healthagy says:

    Thanks for your comment, Robin! Glad to hear that botox appears to have made an improvement in your migraines. The side effects you mentioned are common and can be expected. In most cases however, they tend to be temporary. The best thing to do is to report any side effects you are experiencing to your doctor and allow him or her to determine what is best for you. Meanwhile, we hope that you continue to be migraine free!

  3. The droopy eyelids is a common side effect? I thought i just read above that it is rare. I’m scheduled for the treatment in a couple days.

  4. I have had severe side effects from injections I received on April 23, 2013. My neck is very weak, to the point where it falls completely forward if I bend over or lean over to get something. I have crooked eyebrows, I have lost the arch in my eyebrows, and I have loose skin above my eyes. I also cannot lift a lot of weight overhead due to the weakness in my shoulders. The doctor injected me with 200 units (as opposed to the protocol of 155) which I did not know at the time. (By the way, I only weigh 103 pounds.) He also massaged each injection site after he was done, which I found out later disperses the medication into other tissue. During week two, I also noticed shortness of breath and a frequency to urinate, which I just found out are signs of botulism. Do your homework before having this procedure done, please!! And if you are petite, ask for the lowest does possible!!

    • I too had a weak painful neck from Botox for migraines. Not as weak as yours though. I also weigh 103lb. My doc says he will increase the dosage if this wasn’t effective, however I am afraid my neck won’t take it. My headaches have been reduced but I still get them. My eye lids are also saggy and wrinkly looking, but my forehead is fairly wrinkle free. Not sure what to do.

  5. Mattie Trupia says:

    My name is Mattie and I’m 47 years old. I’ve never had a migraine in my life until last January. I had two weeks with no sleep and a lot of stress and that’s when they started and have not stopped. I’ve been on every medication, shot, nasal spray and now they what to do Botox and you guys are definitely making me afraid but I’m desperate to make this pain go way…I can’t work like this…. I guess I’ll take my chances

    • Mattie, My 1st injection was January 2013, one eyebrow wouldn’t move, and my lids were a little droopy, but was worth it my migraines were a fraction of what they were, and were in my shoulder, not my head … YAY!!! May, 2013…Just have 200 units, double of the last time, this time she injected higher and I have no drooping and she injected more in my shoulder, its been a day and so far so good…. it takes a few days to know all the benefits, but my migraines were so bad, its worth even a little droop…. Find out how many times you Dr. has done this and even ask around about your Dr. Good luck!!

    • I’ve had chronic migraines for the last 6 years. I’ve tried prescription medications & over the counter medications. For the most part my migraines were tolerable using migraine relief over the counter. In the past 2 months my migraines became so severe that I was bedridden. I finally went back to my doctor and he prescribed me Verapamil. I was on 150 mg & my migraines were less frequent & less severe. Two weeks ago he upped it to 180 mgs. I have nott had a migraine since then. I would never try Botox. My friend had success with acupuncture. I would suggest doing that or Verapamil before trying Botox. That does not sound face.

      • casey keylon says:

        If you would never try Botox you have never suffered much with your migraines. My poor husband have suffered since 2009 and has tried the drug your one. He gets his first Botox shots tomorrow and we pray they give him some relief. It is a horrible exsistance for him and his whole family. We pray to God it works!!!

  6. Kristen says:

    I have suffered from severe migraine since age 11 ( I am now 37 ) I have been on Topamax at high dose (200+mgs I think?) which made me very dumb and now am on Zonegran which worked well for about 1 year but now seems to be losing effectiveness. My insurance will not approve Botox but I am being offered enrollment in Allergans clinical Botox trail. Looking for some opinions from fellow sufferers. Honestly until recently my migraine although horrific (vision loss, numbness, vomiting ) were quite episodic. (1-2 per month although they could last 72 hours) However I currently have had a daily headache since May 7th. I’ve also heard of an occipital nerve block, any feedback on that? Currently also taking Foricet as needed and Xanax, it just seems to calm things down but not looking to be a drug addict. I also don’t want any facial paralysis. :-/

    Any feedback would be very helpful! Thank You. Feeling a bit desperate,

    • Totally understand the desperate. My chronic intractable migraines sprang up out of nowhere last fall. Unfortunately my two biggest triggers are hormones and weather changes, so not much I can do to eliminate those. I couldn’t tolerate Topamax or Depakote. Elavil worked great on the migraines but made me tachycardic. Am now trying beta blockers but so far no help there. Next step is Botox and I’m scared to death, but I can’t live with migraines that last three weeks either.
      I’m taking Xanax too — does seem to help even though it makes me foggy and I can’t drive on it. Hoping to be able to get rid of that as soon as either the beta blockers kick in or we try the botox plan.
      Hang in there. People keep telling me it WILL get better…

      • Stephanie says:

        Read the book “Heal your headache the 1-2-3 program” by Dr. David Bucholz. Lots of good info and has helped me without going to extremes and without more meds.

        He really does “get it” when it comes to headaches.

    • I am a migraine sufferer and have been since age 12. Topamax is a cruddy medication and does make you feel dumb, tired, out of sorts. I was on it after I got a seizure from Imitrex that I used to take for about 15 years. I was truly bummed about that because Imitrex was the only thing that actually took a migraine away and didn’t just coat the pain. I just did my first Botox session this past week and so far so good. I thought I was getting a migraine yesterday but it never bloomed to a full one! Just make sure you got to a reputable person and it should be ok. My same doctor that did the Botox did a nerve blocker on me and it did absolutely nothing. Good Luck!
      ~Erika

  7. I had my first treatment of Botox about a month ago. It started to work within a few days and kept me migraine free until yesterday. My normal pattern is to experience chronic migraines of up to 20 days per month and it has been a miracle for me to go this long without a headache. I highly recommend trying Botox if you have chronic migraines and nothing else has worked. I can hardly wait to go back for the next treatment.

    Re: Topimax, I was on that for over a year and, sadly, it took me that long to put 2+2 together and finally tell the neurologist that I had worrisome memory loss and brain fog. She said, “that’s why it’s commonly referred to as Dopimax.” Up until then I had told other doctors about my concerns and none of them thought to suspect the Topimax. To add insult to injury, it wasn’t really doing much to prevent the headaches either.

  8. Oh, and by the way, the neurologist took me off Fioricet because it was taken off the market in Europe for causing rebound headaches.

    Also, the neurologist suggested I might benefit from going gluten-free even though i dont have celiac disease. Apparently gluten sensitivity or intolerance can cause a constellation of symptoms like my chronic pain syndrome. It’ll be tough to give up my addiction to wheat, but worth it to feel better.

    Finally, concerning occipital nerve block injections, I had those last year. They did nothing for me but your mileage may vary.

    PS. I had no negative side effects from the Botox injections other than the pain of the injections themselves. I found 5 mins of pain a good trade off in exchange for getting my life back.

    • Hi, mine started in 1999, it ended up being pseudo tumor cerebri, after meds no longer worked they put in a lumbar perotineal shunt (in spine), that worked until last summer. Last summer I had to have a new shunt put in, so the neuro surgeon wanted to put in a ventricular perotineal one (in brain). That fixed the one kind of headaches but has now left me with severe migraines and vasovagal syncope. I am scheduled for the botox injections this month and I am really second guessing it. But for your that the doctors cant seem to figure out, have they done a spinal tap on you to see if your opening pressure is too high? That right there rules out so many things. Good luck to you.

  9. HateMy ExplodingHead says:

    I’m a chronic headache sufferer and have tried just about everything available over the last 30 years. I am currently taking 100mg of Propranolol (beta blocker) since I also have tachycardia. IMITREX pills and injections when needed. My doctors have ruled out other conditions, such as MS, Lyme disease or mercury toxicity (read about this on the FDA website!). I’ve tried cortisone and/or steroid injections, oral steroid packs, massage, meditation, cognitive behavior therapy, reiki, physical therapy and chiropractic care. I tried magnesium supplements and a gluten free diet and moderate exercise (so hard when your head hurts!). After continuing to suffer from the headaches for years now, which seem to be triggered by hormone and weather changes, I agreed to Botox, which I received this morning. 155 units in 31 injections as outlined as protocol by my neurologist. Ill let you know how it goes!

    • How did the Botox go for you? I try it tomorrow and I’m super nervous. I’m super against medications but getting 20 migraines a month with nothing natural working… You get desperate.

      • Nicky, how did your Botox injections work?

        • I have tried chiropractic for migraines. I have tried just about everything. I don’t really think it helped me. I have also found a nutritionist to be helpful. When I cut dairy out of my diet, that was one of the most effective things that I have done.

  10. Have any of you tried getting chiropractic care for headache? It is safe and has a high success rate with alleviating migranes. I know several people that have gone to the chiropractor and experienced NO SIDEEFFECTS whatsoever! It is also great for your joints, body and immune system. Try that before getting injected and see if it works for you. If not, then try botox. Just a suggestion.

  11. pat navarro says:

    my daughter has had migranes since seventh grade and returned about years off n on. We are willing to try anything. They told her weed (medicinal) would help, also she has been on Soma and get anxiety attacks so bad that xanax was prescribed n helps. She has taken Imitrex and toradal. It helps a little now she wants to try botox.

  12. I had Botox for the 1st time 4 days ago. I’ve had some soreness which I can live with but today I woke with a headache that’s lasted all day. My doc said it could take two weeks to see results so I’m trying not to worry. Has anyone else had headaches after injections but felt better after the first two weeks?

  13. I have had two Botox treatments for migraine. I usually average about two migraines a week, but after the first treatment I went two weeks without a migrain a couple times. I had my second treatment and went over three weeks without a migraine so I am happy with the results so far.

  14. HI, glad I found this site. Have had headaches for 12 years that 30 mg of Elavil worked. In March I started getting 24/7 migraines and nothing has worked. I have tried all the ant-seizure meds. heart meds, anti- depressants, muscle relaxants and valium. I have been unable to work or drive in a headache drugged state. I am scheduled for Botox in 10 days and I am praying for relief and no side effects. I am going to USF Headache Clinic so I have assumed they do this often. But now I will check.

    • Hi Kellie, I just read your post and noticed that you mentioned the USF Headache Clinic, so you live in the Tampa/St. Pete area like I do! If you are interested, I can give you the name of my neurologist in Clearwater who I’ve been seeing, who does my Botox. I wrote a lengthy post just now, if you’d like to read the details. Please let me know if you’d like my doctor’s name and info. I do have to warn you though, there is a waiting period just to schedule a consult with him. I waited 3 months initially, and that was just to see him for the first time. I think I waited another 2 or 3 months to actually get the BOTOX injections, but he is WORTH IT! Let me know if I can help!

    • Hi Lauren and Kellie,
      I was with USF (horrible) and went to the Headache/Pain clinic at Tampa General (what a joke). They made me worse and didn’t help and wouldn’t see me for follow-up. I got botox from a Neuro-Ophthalmalogist and had head and neck pain for about 3 weeks before it started working then it only lasted about a month. I would really like the name of your doctor in Clearwater please. Thank you!

  15. Sandra on June 28,2013PM said says:

    Hi, I have been a migraine suffer for 47 years and have found nothing to help. Sun,heat or anything sets it off. Miss so much work from sickness. A little scared of this yet. I have injections of morphine at the time.

  16. Lou Ann says:

    Hi, I have had migraines most of my life from teen years until now (I am 57). I have tried several medications without much success. I did get better in my mid 30′s from Tegretol but it has no affect on me now. My doctor has suggested botox but I am a little apprehensive since I have an auto-immune disease. I also have many allergies to numerous medications. Any suggestions or advice for me?

  17. I am 52 years old and have suffered from migraines for almost 30 years. With the help of my internist, I have tried multiple medications over the past 15+ years, including imitrex (pills, nasal spray and injection), zomig, maxalt, relpax and, about a year ago, added a beta blocker (propanalol). Topamax was a big fail, as were multiple drugs prescribed by a neurologist — all the meds he prescribed caused hangover-like, pounding headaches, on top of the migraines!

    Aggressive treatment of my allergies over the past 2 years has lowered migraine frequency from 20 – 25 days/month to about 15 – 18 days/ month. Unfortunately, migraine pain has become quite debilitating in the past year, so much so that I have spent more than a day or two curled up in bed in excruciating pain like nothing I’ve experienced before.

    A little over a year or ago, I experienced my first visual migraine, complete with the bright, spiky flashing lights over one eye. Thankfully, I have had only 3 of those.

    I tried acupuncture as a migraine treatment for the first time a couple of weeks ago and go back for my second appointment tomorrow. I’m not holding out much hope. Two people I know well have said if the doc can’t get it right by the second time, forget it.

    I cringe at the thought of injecting poison in my head to relieve migraines, but would love to live a migraine-free life.

  18. I have them for 16 years and only now i’am getting any treatment . i can spend days in bed with them . been into hospital as i was so dehydrated as i could not even keep water down . on new medication from the neurologist and if this does not work he has said about botox . will to try anything . does not just affect me it’s the rest of your family . getting them and friends to help with the children . good to have a good support network . so i’am lucky

    ann

  19. It Hurts so Bad!!! says:

    I got hit by a drunk driver at the age of 10, I have been through 3 brain surgeries still have seizures, and migraines since the age of 10. Nothing helps me I have tried everything Topimax,Tizanidine,Vicodine,Soma none of it helps! did the Botox injections a week and a half ago worst choice I have ever made I am in so much pain in my neck! right now the doctor is trying to figure out how to control my pain from the Botox injection! I wish I could have my headache back that is how bad the pain is from the Botox injection! it feels like the stem of my neck is broke or something! Becareful And consider this before choosing Botox! I will never do it again! I am 41 now and this is the best Neurologist I have had in 31 years he is AWESOME my body is not reacting well to the medicine obviously! I also have Lupus!

  20. I have been a migraine and headache sufferer for 30+ yrs, am now 56. I am currently seeing a neurologist and he has not been able to control the migraines nor headaches. I am taking topamax and nortriptyline combo on a daily basis and when the headache gets too bad, I take relpax. But my insurance, UHC, wont give more than 4 at a time.so they dont last too long.
    Have not considered Botox until now and am doing so real hard. Would love to be headache free for once. Not sure what that would be like. Have had a migraine and headache for 5 days now to the point it has been a miserable 4 day vacation weekend.
    But I dont believe my neurologist does Botox. So may have to see someone else.
    I hope to talk to him soon. Anybody have UHC Insurance and have had to deal with them and Botox?

  21. I’m 41 years old and I have been a chronic migraine sufferer for the last 4 years. I’ve had migraines on and off since I was a teenager, but in June of 2009, a migraine started and it didn’t stop. For 7 months my doctor and I worked on all different kinds of medicine combinations and during the whole time, the migraine never stopped. I thought I was literally going to go crazy from the pain. I couldn’t just stop my life and lock myself in a room – I had my children to take care of and my husband and my job!! Finally, at the end of the 7 months and going thru the whole line of every migraine medicine known to man, we ended up with a combination of 200 mg of Topomax, 150 mg of Elavil, 25 mg of Atenolol, dailly and Midrin and Hydrocodone for when the migraines and headaches did hit!!! Talk about a walking zombie!! My husband felt like he couldn’t carry on a conversation with me at all. It took me about 6 months to learn to fight thru the fog of the medicine. The combination worked well for about 2 years and this last 2 years, the migraines just get more and more frequent 2 where I’m now up to 20 to 25 days a month of nothing but pain again. I just went to a neurologist on Tuesday and he is ordering an MRI to be done. He also upped my Topomax to 300 mg a day, took me off of the Elavil (which is fine with me – it’s made me gain 40 lbs!), and is suggesting that I would be a good candidate for Botox. He wants to wait to see what the MRI shows before discussing it further, be he seems to think it would help me. I’m real unsure and nervous about this — I HATE NEEDLES – with a passion!!! I’m so glad I found this page to read everyone’s experiences and questions, as I have the same!!! So, I thought I would share my story and let you all know, I started crying just reading this!! It’s hard going thru this and to know I’m not alone makes all the difference!! NO ONE can fully understand what I’m talking about unless they have experienced a true migraine. I have aged more in the last 4 years from all this pain than I have in the last 20!! To everyone who reads this, you are not alone and I pray that you all have relief and peace in your near future!!! I hope we all do!!! Take care!! Carrie

    • I have has my first Botox treatment on 8-30-2013, and after 4 to 5 days I started getting this saver neck pain and headaches. The neck pain and headaches would get worse the more I’m up on my feet, and the headaches turn into a migraine.
      Doctors are going to do a nerve blocker to stop the pain.

  22. Hi everyone. Had botox on 8.7.13 first 2 days no problems then the neck pain began its so weak and painful and my head feels tight and ready to pop just feel generally unwell. I was told this could happen between days 4-7. Has this happened to anyone else? X

  23. Michael Strauch says:

    I had my first injection back in 2011. The dr used less than recommended and used less injection sites. I had no side effects, only positive effects. I’m getting another treatment today and this time using the recommended dose over the recommended injection sites. I’ll see if i get bad side effects. But last time it stopped my face tremors and the twitching from scars on my face, also the pain associated with my cluster headaches.

  24. I just got my injections today. Did anyone feel a little woozy or out of it after your injections? I felt almost like I had just taken a Valium or something.

    I have had a migraine everyday for the past month so I was willing to try anything to stop them.

  25. I have been getting BOTOX injections for chronic migraine for about a year and a half, and they have changed my life. Some history – I have been a migraine sufferer for 20 years, starting around age 12 (I’m 32). I had been scanned (MRI, CT) and tested and found no reason for the migraines, and no relief. I’ve tried every triptan medication, painkiller, etc. The various triptans would work for a while, and then lose their effectiveness. I’ve been hospitalized for intractable migraines, I’ve seen multiple neurologists, etc. with no real relief. Then in 2009 I was diagnosed with a meningioma (benign brain tumor) the size of 2 golf balls. My neurosurgeon estimated that it had been there, growing, for about 10 years. Once that was removed, instead of getting relief I ended up with a migraine 24/7 that never really subsided. My primary care doctor, frustrated with me and refusing to write me any more prescriptions, referred me to a local neurologist who is the area’s “headache specialist” among his colleagues (I’m in the Tampa/St. Pete area in FL).
    I got my first BOTOX injections last year, I think I’ve had them 6 times now, and I go religiously every 3 months. I cannot put into words how amazing this treatment has been. I started to see an improvement after the 2nd round of injections, and it seems with each one I get just slight improvement over the previous round. My doctor trains other physicians how to inject BOTOX for chronic migraines, so he is very good. I used to get a migraine right after the injections, but that has not happened to me in about 6 months. I went from literally, not exaggerating, having a migraine 24/7 to being a new person. I don’t spend my life in bed, miserable. My daughter has her mom back! I still have “brain issues” leftover from the tumor and its removal, but the frequency of my migraines has been greatly reduced. The migraines also respond much better to medication, and I’m able to get rid of my pain much more easily.
    The injections are in the forehead, temples, around the head, and in the neck and shoulders – basically the places that feel tight and painful during a migraine. My migraines always start in my left temple, and I get more BOTOX put over on that side. Bonus – I don’t have any wrinkles either! I don’t mind that little “side effect” one bit! The “paralysis” is temporary and wears off as I get closer to my next appointment. If you have any paralysis that bothers you, tell your doctor, and he or she can adjust where the medication goes, as it’s very localized. It is NOT in your bloodstream or the rest of your body. Beware of the placebo effect :)
    The injections feel like a little pinch or a sting, but an experienced doctor will be finished in about 2 minutes. A drop of blood at the injection site is normal. The first few times I felt woozy afterward, but it was all mental. Now that I’m a “veteran” it’s in and out and I feel fine. By the time you say “ow” at an injection, it’s already over. For those of us who suffer migraines, it’s a VERY small price to pay for the relief that it can provide! I’d much rather suffer 2 minutes of pinches than a migraine!
    If you’re on these message boards, you’re probably looking to find something that works for you, so I hope that this helps. I’m very fortunate that my health insurance covers it, although I think now that it’s been FDA-approved for a few years more insurance companies do pay for it. Good luck! If you have any questions or concerns, I’m happy to help. Email me at GatorFanLS@verizon.net. Wishing you all migraine-free days to come!!

  26. hi, I have had headaches/migraines for past 25 years, 53 now, self employed bin a nightmare. I have had every med available nothing touches it, having had a mri & nothing showing up seems like last option is botulinium toxin (botox), I have to say, having read the posts on this site, the down sides of this treatment seem well worth the risk, I don’t get my first treatment until the 20th September but looking forward to having less pain, & spending less time in my bed.

  27. Just had my first round of Botox treatment today. I too felt woozy and almost passed out towards the end. I actually had 32 injections (not 31): forehead, temple area, base of head, neck and down my traps. It’s only been hours since my injections but I’m nervous about side effects, long term. Also, my husband ad I are working on having a baby. Has anyone heard of any evidence-based literature with regards to Botox and pregnancy? My guy says the two are not safe, nor do I want to take them if I get pregnant. My OB said to stop taking them if I got pregnant.

    Really hoping this works. I’ve dealt with migraines for 15 years. Like everyone else, tried all the meds for prophylactic treatment with no luck.

    It’s sound like like maximum effect isn’t reached til round 2 or 3?

  28. I’ve had migraines ever since I was a little girl. As far back as I can remember. Migraines an headaches have just been apart of my normal every day life:

    I’m 34 and I have seen my neurologist since I was 19. I’ve had good years and bad years.

    I do have hydrocephalus, though mild. It had been controlled by medication. I’ve been on a lot, verapamil, Clonazepam, IMITREX, maxalt,migranal, Vicodin, various muscle relaxers, zonisamide, relpax, and now, since my current treatments aren’t fending off the migraines, I’m running out of my migraine medication and need to fill it so soon after I have received it. The relpax works, just not all the time. Then I’m scared to use it because you don’t know if your going to have a worse headache later. Insurance will only pay for 16 pills of relpax for 90 days…. At 2 a day… That prescription just doesn’t last. I can’t afford to take myself to care now after hours (which is the same cost as my hospital co pay, $225 that can add up quick) but when your in pain your willing to do most anything.

    So, that brings me to the Botox plan, my neurologist had contacted my insurance in June and we just now, today, received approval.

    I have already gone the route of massages, chiropractor and anything else that I can do. When you are in the brink and you almost can’t function anymore, your willing to do almost anything.

    I absolutely can’t stand when the chiropractor thinks that they can solve my issue and they cause a horrible migraine, or I have something caused that was sound induced.

    So for now, I anxiously await to find what is in store for me. My boss has been great and is always so understanding. I’m sure no one wants to see an employer that doesn’t look well and had to have the trash can pulled out for the “in case of a sickness emergency”, but I was still there.

    My appointment will be Thursday, fingers are crossed. I know this may not absolutely solve everything but I hope it will help. This everyday and every other day migraines have to stop.

  29. I have been a migraine sufferer for the past 17 years. It has been absolutely debilitating and I have lost months of my life. Trying to work and be a great friend, wife and employee is just tough when I am in pain. I’ve tried every medication and naturopathic therapy and finally I was approved for botox. I had my first treatment this past Friday and it has not been a great experience. I am having quite a bit of pain. My neck and temples are throbbing and I am pretty close to having a full blown migraine, just a bit different feeling. Has anyone experienced this? My doctor said that this should dissipate but I have a hard time understanding why this would happen. Hopeful that the benefits of the botox will kick in soon.

  30. Just wanted to add a few comments here; first of all, after the first couple of rounds of BOTOX I did get a pretty severe migraine, but that is a fairly common side effect. I know it’s difficult, but I really would recommend sticking with it for that 2nd and even 3rd round. It can take that long for you to notice a difference. In addition, pain around the injection sites is fairly normal as well. Your doctor should be using very small needles, with 1CC syringes. Only a tiny amount should be deposited with each injection. My doctor starts with 4 1cc-syringes and goes from there. As far as feeling woozy, it’s all in your head :) I don’t mean that to sound like I am dismissing your concerns, but it happened to me the 2nd or 3rd time I went in. I hadn’t had enough sleep and was anxious about other crap going on in my life (the last 5 years of my life have been a living hell). I was focusing waaaaay too much on what my doc was doing, and after he was done I got that ringing in my ears, starting to feel fuzzy…nothing happened, and the nurse gave me a drink of water. I sat there for a couple of minutes and then I was fine. If you are a needle-phobe, ask your doc or nurse to please talk with you during the procedure, so you’re distracted. It helps!
    Some people do experience side effects such as drooping, or severe pain around the injection sites that won’t go away. From my experience, that has more to do with the doctor’s technique than anything else. The pain around the injection site is due to (1) the medication stinging in general; and (2) the doctor putting too high a volume of liquid subcutaneously (under your skin – it has nowhere to go until it dissipates over the next several hours). Do your due diligence and make sure that your doctor has done this procedure several hundred times, at a minimum. Do NOT be his/her guinea pig! I have a friend who I referred to my doctor, but she didn’t want to wait because he’s always booked so far in advance. She went to her regular neurologist, who was just starting to offer BOTOX, and she ended up with a lopsided face and excruciating pain in her jaw.
    Ultimately, BOTOX WILL wear off, no matter what. That’s why it’s FDA approved for use every 12 weeks so that you can keep that cumulative effect going. If you are looking for a doctor who offers BOTOX, I think you can go on Allergan’s website (the pharmaceutical company who manufactures BOTOX) and find a doctor in your area who offers the procedure. My suggestion would be to go in for a consult, and be frank – ask him or her how many procedures he/she has done, and what the success rate is. You can Google some diagrams of approximately where the injections should go; compare that to where your doctor says that he/she will be placing the injections. Finding the right doctor is critical for this to be done correctly! This is definitely NOT like getting BOTOX done cosmetically!
    I’ve already heard from 2 readers who are getting ready to give this a shot (ha ha no pun intended!)…if any of you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email me! I am happy to share my experiences with you. For what it’s worth, I’m a pretty skeptical person, so I went in with very low expectations. I’m happy that I was proven wrong! Hang in there all my fellow sufferers!! XOXO

  31. so I have had neck pain since I had the botox shots done on Aug 23rd. Will they ever go away, or is this permanent?

  32. I have migraines off and on throughout the month. When the pain in my head isn’t a full blown migraine, it is a pain that hangs out inside my head that intimadates me by going up with every stress, rising voice or head movement. I was always ready to cry. Worse still, i couldn’t read or listen to music. I received a round of Botox injections. They felt a little stronger than acupuncture. The headache/migraine start points hurt w injection and afterward for a few days. The doctor was experienced. I have had many pain free days even under stress. I’ve had three migraines that did not last long. My eyes feel squinty and irritated, my new prod rime of impending migrain. I’m ever so much more comfortable. Thank you.

  33. I have been taking Botox for chronic migraines. Recently I have started using a CPAP machine for breathing/sleep problems. I am having headaches again–long before the next set of injections. Any connection?

  34. Cindy Stevens says:

    I am 48 and have had migraines for over 24 years with headaches being apart of my daily life. My neurologist has suggested botox and I am considering it, if my insurance will approve it. I have been reading up on it and there are two kinds of botox injections. The most common, intramuscular injections and then there is intradermal injections which is suppose to be less painful. Intradermal injections are for someone also suffering with chronic pain such as cervical spasms, TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc..
    In my case a lot of my migraines and headaches are caused from chronic pain at the base of my head, in my neck, shoulders and back. I think the intradermal shots would be a better choice for me.
    Has anyone had the intradermal shots and if they have did they help?

  35. People might think botox can make migraines disappear as it does with wrinkles, but unfortunately not everyone experiences at least satisfying results.
    I know people that had botox in Toronto to remove wrinkles and were very pleased with the result, people that had it to get rid of excessive sweating and also had amazing results, but when it comes to migraine sufferers things change.
    An improvement will be after the first session of botox but from what I heard, only the second session will make a difference, off course if you’re one of the 60% that felt an improvement.

  36. I had Botox injections a week ago for migraines that are almost every day. Even though the dr. said it takes 2 weeks to work I am concerned that I am not seeing any impact yet. I am having the eyebrow stiffness and eyelid drooping I read about from some of you but don’t care as long as my HAs go away. I am desperate for it to work and it seems as if something should be happening by now. I see that some of you see an almost immediate effect. I so want this to work. Have been on so many meds and have lived my entire life around these HAs. Dr. didn’t mention that I might have to go 2 or 3 rounds for it to work. Does that occur to a lot of you?

  37. I have suffered from migraines for years and didn’t know what to do, finally had a MRI done and I have a rare brain disorder called Chiari I Malformation. I was on propranolol for years and all it did was make my pressure to low, so my pain doc started trigger point injections may of 2012 that really helped, however now they are back with a vengeance so he is recommending Botox I go in for my first treatment Nov 1st and I am very scared I have heard a lot of different stories. I think I am going to try them due to not wanting headaches and hopefully it will work please if anyone can give me more in site email me spiritofvintage@live.com thank you

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  39. I have had chronic migraines since I was 16 (now 35, do the math). I am currently seeing a new neurologist who just recommened botox injections. I get migraines every day. I am on verapil and topiramate as preventatives. And I have tried everything under the sun to get rid of them. I don’t think there is a side effect that could scare me off from trying this out. Just the chance to be migraine free or even have them cut down by half is more than I have ever thought possible.

  40. Hi All
    I’ve been a migraine sufferer since childhood. (I am 47 years old) Am now also suffering migraine related seizures that I take Topimax for. For a while the Topamax also controlled the number and severity of migraine headaches I had, but no longer. They have actually returned more painful and more frequent than they have been in years. On December 11, I will have treatment 3 of Botox injections after having tried absolutely everything. (you can imagine after that many years) After the very first treatment, I was reduced to one, count it, one headache in the 3 month period between treatment one and two. I have a headache today – first one since treatment two – and it’s what I call a ‘functional migraine’. In other words, I’m not bedridden or rocking on the floor in the fetal position incapable of any type of human function. After both treatments (which I don’t find particularly painful at all) my upper eyelids were slightly puffy for a couple of weeks. Other than that, no side effects whatsoever. But I’d have taken droopy eyelids and needle pain in a heartbeat to get the results I’ve had. One ‘tolerable’ headache in 3 months, versus 3-5 per week? No brainer for me. But it’s different for everyone. Make sure your Neuro has experience with the drug/injections; gives you all the facts, and that you keep an eye on yourself for any side effects. But I would certainly recommend giving it a shot, based on my experience. Good Luck!

  41. I am 35 years old and have had weekly migraines since I was 7 years old. We have tried everything to get rid them. A lot of my migraines are caused by food and I do watch what I eat but I do suffer from migraines unrelated to food. I also have a headache that is in my forehead that is there 24/7. I have had it since i was 15. Headaches keep me from enjoying life. I feel like I have been living in my bed for the past 15 years not to mention all the hospital visits. My medial bills are crazy out of control from the hospital visits. In Oct I finally tried Botox and it was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I always see people online say such horrible things about it. While it may not work for some people it definitely worked for me. Within 30 minutes of getting the injections the headache that have had since I was 15 was gone and I have only had 3 major migraines and no hospital visits. It lasts for 3 months so that says a lot. I used to get them 4-7 times a week. After it wore off the headaches/migraines came back. I would recommend botox to anyone because for the first time in my life I have been able to go on vacation and it was amazing. I can go hang out with friends and to family events. It has saved my life. I finally feel like I have one.

  42. I have to say, having read the posts on this site, the down sides of this treatment seem well worth the risk, I don’t get my first treatment until the 10 Februrary but looking forward to having less pain and spending less time in my bed.

  43. I have been having severe chronic migraines since I was 8. I am not 17, and have had botox injections in my forehead and temples. I had some swelling and bruising around the injection sight, but other than that, no migraine s. I have to go back again soon for some more injections. Botox really changed everything ( for the better) in my life.

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