Botox is only FDA-approved for chronic migraines, which means headache on 15 or more days a month. “The more frequent the headaches, the better the patient does with Botox,” Botox is not recommended for patients who experience fewer than 15 headache days a month.
What is Botox?
Botox is a form of botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin produced by the bacteria that causes botulism. When the Botox botulinum toxin is purified and used in tiny doses in specific areas, it temporarily reduces muscle contractions for approximately 3 months.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox is injected around pain fibers that are involved in headaches. Botox enters the nerve endings around where it is injected and blocks the release of chemicals involved in pain transmission.
Who Uses Botox?
The FDA approves the use of Botox to treat chronic migraine in adults who are age 18 or over. Botox is considered an “off-label” treatment if it’s used for children or adolescents. This means that a doctor can prescribe it, but insurance companies might not pay for it.
botox migraine cost
In general, the FDA-recommended dosage of 155 units costs between $300 to $600 for each treatment. Please note that before your insurance company will approve Botox as a treatment for your chronic migraine, you typically must have tried and failed to respond to two other preventative treatments. These might include anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, or blood pressure medications that are typically used to prevent migraine.
What is Treatment Like?
When you receive your first Botox treatment, expect the appointment to take about 20 minutes. The doctor uses a very small needle that feels like a pinprick. He or she injects small amounts of Botox into shallow muscles in the skin. Each treatment typically involves 31 injections in seven key areas of the head and neck.
Botox migraines side effects
The most common side effect from the Botox shots is a sore neck, and we recommend using an ice pack to reduce the discomfort. It can take up to six months to see the maximum benefit from Botox. In the meantime, you can continue your regular medications with no risk of a drug interaction.