Migraine — what is it?
It is now supposed to a complex disruption of neural networks, which has a strong hereditary basis. Genes that predispose to such disease tendencies are involved in the transmission of excitation between neurons (via a glutamate neurotransmitter) and in the development of synaptic plasticity (neurons inhibit signal transmission when needed and amplify the signal — also when needed). As a result, in people with migraines, the hemisphere’s cortex is too excitable, and sounds, smells, or light can aggravate the condition during an attack. In addition to the cortex, migraine also affects the subcortical and brainstem areas and is transmitted to the trigeminal nerve.
Classical medicines include triptans, ergotamines, and CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) antagonists. Drugs have different side effects and cost, and may not help. This is because migraine is a complex disease, especially in a chronic case (symptoms occur 15 days and more during a month).
How does Botox help migraine headaches?
Over recent years, increasing interest to use botulinum toxin preparations for the migraine attacks treatment is observed. Botox injection causes relaxation of facial muscles and is very effective in correcting facial wrinkles. Therefore, botulinum toxin type A is widespread in cosmetology. It was cosmetologists and plastic surgeons in the mid-1990s, who noticed that migraine attacks became rare in adults treated by botulinum toxin.
These findings led to a further study of Botox efficaciousness in migraine therapy. Indeed, several years ago, clinical trials of this preparation efficacy in chronic migraine were completed. These large-scale studies were conducted according to international rules, involving patients whose headaches lasted 15 or more days during a month, and 8 or more days of which are presented by migraine attacks.
These studies show the convincing effectiveness of Botox injection for migraines — a large part of patients felt a pronounced decrease in pain. Headache attacks also became shorter and less severe. Therefore, in 2010, botulinum toxin received an official indication of ‘chronic migraine’ in several countries (such as the United States and United Kingdom).
Now it is clear that this drug action is not only associated with its ability to relax spasmodic muscles in the head and neck but above all with its direct analgesic action — the ability to block the pain formation involved substances.
How long does Botox for migraine work?
The drug is injected during one procedure through a series of microinjections using a thin insulin syringe into the muscles of the face, head, and neck. The action usually lasts about 10 to 12 weeks after the first application. Repeated preparation reduces the number of pain attacks by about 50%. Therefore, doctors usually recommend several treatment courses.
As with classical medication, botulinum toxin does not reduce pain in all patients. However, it has a number of positives. Just one procedure can give you significant pain reduction for several months. This allows you to take a break from the painkillers you take, and their effectiveness will be higher. In addition, when used properly, Botox for migraines does not cause any side effects because it is introduced locally in the concrete muscle. Qualified administration eliminates the distribution of the drug outside this area.
Price of Botox for migraines, and it’s indications
According to research, preparation proven dose amounts to 155 units per one treatment. This will make it easy to identify how many Botox for migraines will cost. If you are looking for how to order Botox online, you will see that price ranges from $ 300-600. Because this remedy is FDA-sanctioned for chronic migraine, its application in this area is covered by most plans, including Medicare, Medicaid, etc.
However, we should not forget That Botox is only approved for chronic migraines, which means a headache on 15 or more days a month. This treatment method will allow you to deal with migraines for several months and take a break from painkillers if they did not produce the desired result or are unwanted (for example, in the early stages of pregnancy).