Migraines can be a debilitating condition, but there is hope. Botox injections have been used to treat chronic migraines for over a decade, and the results can be life-changing. But where exactly are these injections administered?Botox injections are typically given in the forehead, temples, and back of the head and neck. In some cases, the specialist may inject “trigger points” where the headache originates.
The reason why Botox works for migraines is because it blocks neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from the brain. It's like an obstacle on that path, preventing chemicals from reaching the nerve endings around the head and neck. The guidelines recommend that Botox be given in a series of 31 to 39 small injections. These are administered under the skin or into the muscles of the forehead and around it, above the ears and up to the neck. The person performing the treatment will have been trained to administer Botox for chronic migraine. In general, Botox injections are given every 12 weeks to prevent headaches in adults with chronic migraine.
However, it's important to follow your doctor's dosing schedule. Since 2002, Mayo Clinic doctors have treated thousands of patients with chronic migraine effectively and safely with Botox. If you experience any symptoms after receiving a Botox injection, you should talk to your doctor. Although there is no confirmed case in which Botox spreads to other parts of the body, it is possible and could be fatal. In a study of adults suffering from chronic migraines, Botox injections reduced the total number of days they had migraines or other types of headaches. In some cases, people who receive Botox injections to prevent headaches experience improvements in their condition within 2 to 4 weeks. Treatments aren't given more often because of the small chance that if you receive Botox more often, your body could build up antibodies to botulinum toxin.
Although rare, Botox injections to prevent headaches in adults with chronic migraine can cause serious side effects. If Botox doesn't work for you or stops working, the specialist will discuss other treatment options with you. Usually, doctors recommend not using Botox if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, because the effects of the drug on the fetus are unknown. Before you receive Botox injections to prevent headaches due to chronic migraine, there is important information you should be aware of. Botox is usually given until the migraine has changed to episodic migraine for three months in a row, or until there is significant improvement in disability using quality-of-life questionnaires. If you want to notify the FDA about a side effect you have had with Botox, you can do so through MedWatch.