What are the most common symptoms
of migraine headaches?
A migraine is a severe, painful headache that is often preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light and sound. The excruciating pain that migraines bring can last for hours or even days. A chronic migraine is a severe headache that can last more than a day or several times per week. Neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling in the arms or legs can also accompany a migraine.
When is it time to discuss Botox as a treatment
for chronic migraines?
A discussion about Botox is appropriate in situations where patients suffer from more than 14 headaches per month, in a span of more than six months, and after trying and failing at least two medications to prevent headaches from coming.
Does insurance cover Botox?
Yes. If the criteria listed above are met, then insurance typically approves this treatment. Your physician’s office will obtain the approval prior to Botox therapy.
How is the drug administered?
The drug is administered through a series of injections in the frown lines of the face, the forehead, the temples, and in the back of the head and the trapezius region. The injections are administered through a very thin needle, so there is essentially no discomfort. The entire process takes about 15 minutes and there is no downtime.
What should I expect from Botox?
Botox typically results in a 50 percent or more reduction in the severity and frequency of headaches and lasts up to three to four months. A majority of people experience immediate results; however, some may require more than one injection cycle for more consistent and lasting results.
Are there any side effects from using Botox
to fight migraines?
The only side effect might be some slight irritation at the injection site a day or so after the procedure, but Botox is only administered under the skin, so it is not expected to have any effects on the body.
How does Botox differ from other migraine treatments?
Typical treatments for migraines include medications that prevent headaches from coming, but they have to be taken daily and sometimes cause unwanted side effects. Botox is typically administered every three months. Some patients are able to come off of their preventative medications entirely with the use of Botox.
Husham Mishu, MD is a Board Certified Neurologist in Atlanta at Midtown Neurology, P.C.