Is Botox Effective For Treating Chronic Migraine

Mar 22, 2023 By Marie White

If you suffer from persistent migraines, you might attempt everything to get relief. After all, migraine headaches are terrible and can severely limit your daily activities and activities you enjoy.

It is considered chronic migraine if symptoms occur 15 or more times per month. Migraine medications can treat current symptoms or help prevent future episodes. Botox, an injectable medication derived from a purified protein found in Clostridium botulinum, is one such prophylactic treatment.

When injected, it stops particular chemical impulses from the nerves, leading to temporary paralysis of the muscles. Botox initially garnered notoriety for its ability to diminish the appearance of wrinkles, but scientists soon realized that it could also be used to treat various medical issues.

In modern medicine, it is employed in treating issues such as chronic neck spasms, involuntary eye blinking, and urinary incontinence. It is also effective in warding off migraine attacks.

How Does Botox Alleviate Migraines?

Migraine symptoms, such as those listed below, can be mitigated by Botox treatments.

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • light-, sound-, and smell-sensitivity

Tissues implicated in headache and migraine discomfort are injected with Botox. It interferes with pain transmission by acting on nerve terminals and preventing the release of neurotransmitters.

It might take 10 days to 2 weeks after receiving Botox injections to feel the effects. The first round of injections won't do much to alleviate your problems. More effective therapy options exist. The use of Botox to treat chronic migraine was shown to be effective, safe, and well tolerated over three years in a research published in 2018.

The average number of headache days per month decreased significantly in the research. After 3 months of treatment, a 2019 systematic review found that Botox injections can help avoid chronic migraine.

Known Migraine Injection Sites for Botox

An average course of treatment for chronic migraine prevention is 31 injections of 5 units each. The following are examples of possible injection locations:

  • the cartilaginous ridge atop the nose
  • forehead
  • temples
  • the occiput (back of the head)
  • neck
  • upper back

Effects of Botox on Migraine Headaches

Botox is generally well-tolerated, with few complications or unwanted side effects. Botox treatments can cause painful and stiff necks at the injection site. A headache might develop later on as a result.

Muscle weakness in your neck and shoulders is also possible. Because of this, maintaining an upright posture may be difficult. When these unwanted effects do happen, they often disappear after a few days. Botox toxin can rarely travel to other parts of the body. When this occurs, you could feel:

  • Weakness in muscles
  • vision alterations
  • Having trouble swallowing
  • drooping eyelids
  • a severe arching of the brows

Botox should only ever be prescribed and given by a medical practitioner to prevent the risk of significant side effects and problems. Find a doctor or neurologist with expertise in administering Botox for persistent migraine and make an appointment with them.

A Botox Procedure: What to Expect

The actual process of getting Botox is relatively painless. When you get an injection, it could hurt a little or burn a little. A typical session will run between 11 and 16 minutes. Several injections of Botox will be administered at strategic spots on your head and shoulders throughout these sessions. After that, most patients return to their regular activities without further difficulty.

When Should You Get Botox To Avoid Migraines?

If your doctor prescribes Botox to treat your migraines, you may expect an injection every three months. The dangers associated with receiving Botox injections on a more regular basis have not been thoroughly investigated.

Some patients may show significant improvement with therapy and eventually be able to stop taking their medication without experiencing a relapse. You and your doctor will decide on a treatment schedule for Botox based on how well it works for you.


Botox is one of several potential treatments for people with persistent migraine. If previous treatments haven't worked, your doctor may suggest Botox injections. If you have trouble with migraine medication, your doctor may recommend Botox.

You should discuss Botox with your doctor if you've tried other preventative therapies for severe migraines without success. The procedure takes very little time and has minimal danger, and it might be the key to a life free of symptoms.

When Botox is used to treat chronic migraine, most health insurance plans will pay the cost of the injections. The surgery costs might reach several thousand dollars if you don't have insurance or your policy doesn't cover it.

Talk to your insurance provider before beginning shots. They may have you submit to further testing or procedures before they'll pay for your Botox injections.

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