Chronic migraines

Chronic migraine is when you experience migraine symptoms on 15 or more days each month.

Only patients with chronic migraine symptoms are eligible for treatment with botulinum toxin A.

Over the counter or prescription medications may help ease some of your symptoms initially, but not all patients respond well to pain relievers.

The Migraine Trust estimates that this condition affects fewer than 1% of the population, but this still means that there over 610,000 chronic migraine sufferers in the UK.

Botox was licensed specifically for the treatment of chronic migraines in July 2010 by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Botox is not effective for any other headache type (e.g. episodic migraine, tension-type headache, cluster headache) as yet, so if you are unsure if your symptoms are eligible for Botox, check with your GP first.

What is Botox?

Botox is used medically to treat certain muscular conditions, and cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralysing muscles. It is made from a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, an organism found in the natural environment where it is pretty much inactive and non-toxic.

How is Botox used to treat migraines?

Using botulinum toxin, Dr Mittal will typically administer injections once every three months. Depending on your response to botulinum toxin, a treatment plan will be agreed with the doctor.

Each session will last between 10 and 15 minutes. During the sessions, Dr Mittal will inject multiple doses of the medicine into specific points along the bridge of your nose, your temples, your forehead, the back of your head, your neck, and your upper back.

What are the benefits of using Botox for chronic migraines?

Botulinum toxin treatments can help reduce symptoms of migraine headaches, including nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to lights, sounds, and smells. After you receive botulinum toxin injections, it may take up to 14 days for you to experience relief.

Some patients may not experience any relief from their symptoms following the first set of injections so additional treatments may be recommended and prove more effective in the long term.

What are the potential risks?

Complications and side effects of botulinum toxin treatments are rare, as the injections themselves are almost painless. You may experience a very small sting with each injection with the most common side effects of botulinum toxin injections being neck pain and stiffness at the injection site.

You may develop a headache afterwards and may experience temporary muscle weakness in your neck and upper shoulders, which should disappear on its own within a few days.

Dr Mittal will discuss all the potential risks as part of the initial and ongoing treatment. Dr Mittal will also be available if you have questions/concerns between treatments

If you have chronic migraines, Botulinum toxin A is one of many treatment options available to you with the process being low risk and relatively quick to perform.

Migraine Treatment prices start from £450

*Patients experiences will vary dependent on age, lifestyle and medical history


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