Botox is a popular injectable neurotoxin used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including chronic migraines, limb spasticity, axillary hyperhidrosis, cervical dystonia, strabismus, and blepharospasm. It is also used cosmetically to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and achieve a more youthful look. While Botox is generally safe and effective, it can cause headaches in some cases. When injected into certain areas, Botox can cause headaches.
These headaches can range from mild to severe and may last from a few hours to a few days. In some cases, they may even last up to two weeks or more before gradually subsiding. Headaches caused by Botox injections can usually be relieved with over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen). However, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking these medications, as they may not be appropriate for everyone.
For example, NSAIDs should be avoided in people with certain underlying health problems, such as heart disease, kidney failure, or a history of stomach bleeding. In some cases, headaches may occur after an injection into the forehead muscles. This is especially true for those who receive Botox injections for chronic migraine. It may take a couple of days (sometimes up to two weeks) to notice any reduction in the frequency and severity of headache. If headaches persist after treatment with Botox, they tend to decrease as the body metabolizes the drug naturally. If you have a headache after treatment, you can ease the discomfort with over-the-counter pain medication for a few days.
If, after this time, you still feel uncomfortable, contact your Botox provider. What can be done with this problem is that we can administer a lower dose on your next touch-up. The least amount of relaxation can be the trick to keeping headaches at bay. Botox-related headaches are extremely rare and are thought to be caused by excessive contraction of certain muscles of the face. A headache may also occur if a blood vessel is injured during the Botox injection and a hematoma (pool of blood) forms. If you have injection site reactions that are severe or bothering you, talk to your doctor about other treatments besides Botox that might be better for you. If you currently have an infection at a Botox injection site, you should not receive Botox injections until the infection clears up. It should also be noted that anticholinergic drugs taken after administration of Botox may potentiate systemic anticholinergic effects.
You should also talk to your doctor about whether Botox is right for you if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. The most commonly reported adverse reactions (3-10% of adult patients) after Botox injection in double-blind studies included pain and bleeding at the injection site, non-axillary sweating, infection, pharyngitis, influenza syndrome, headache, fever, neck or back pain, itching and anxiety. In patients with cervical dystonia evaluated for safety in double-blind open-label studies following Botox injection, the most commonly reported adverse reactions were dysphagia (19%), upper respiratory tract infection (12%), neck pain (11%), and headache (11%).Severe worsening of migraine requiring hospitalization occurred in approximately 1% of patients treated with Botox in studies 1 and 2, usually within the first week after treatment compared with 0.3% of patients treated with placebo. In addition, talk to your doctor about whether Botox is right for you if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. However, as the amount of the drug in the body decreases symptoms of the condition you were using Botox to treat may appear. Overall, while there are quite a few myths about Botox treatment can have minimal side effects. For a very small group of patients this side effect may include headaches.
Be sure to tell your doctor about any future surgical procedures before you receive Botox injections.