How Safe are Botox Injections?

Botox Injections for MigraineBotox injections are being used for chronic pain as well as for wrinkle reduction and prevention. Migraine headaches and other chronic pain conditions are responding well to Botox injections. The primary objective of migraine prophylaxis is to reduce the duration, frequency, and severity of migraine attacks. For this reason, Botox injections have become a standard treatment in pain management.

A migraine headache is a common disabling condition, and its lifetime prevalence is around 15%. This condition will limit daily activities, affect the quality of life, and become a chronic issue. When migraine headaches progress from an episodic migraine to a chronic migraine, the prevalence rate is around 2% of the general population. Botox injections offer an alternative therapy for people who suffer from these headaches.

 

Causes of a Chronic Migraine

 

The understanding of a chronic migraine has improved with research over the last 20 years. It is likely that many factors are involved with migraine headaches. The widely accepted theory for a migraine suggests that cortical spreading depression, which involves nerve hyperactivity, followed by an area cortical depression, accounts for the aura. In addition, the headache depends on activation of a certain nerve-vascular pain pathway.

Other factors that contribute to migraines include central and peripheral sensitization, neurogenic inflammation, and cortical hyperexcitability. In addition, pain-induced functional activation of certain brain regions, and atypical pain modulation plays a role in transforming episodic migraines into chronic migraines. Another major factor in this process is cortical hyperexcitability.

 

Botox Injection Side Effects

 

Botulinum neurotoxins are produced by Clostridium botulinum strains. Botox works by causes muscle paralysis. When muscles are relaxed, no wrinkles can occur. In addition, pain decreases because Botox affects acetylcholine release from nerves. This substance has an effect that is dependent on neurotransmitter release from certain neurons of the muscle fibers.

Botox has side effects, but they are rare. These include dizziness, difficulty swallowing, muscle weakness, nausea, flu-like pain, swollen and/or droopy eyelid, eye irritation, reduced blinking, sensitivity to light, and tearing. When used for migraine prevention, neck pain may occur. If any of these side effects occur, please notify your physician.

 

Botox Injection Before and After Results

 

The effects of Botox for migraines has been observed many times by plastic surgeons who were treating patients for wrinkles. In recent research studies, 50% of patients had complete remission of headaches, while other clinical studies showed that the duration of effectiveness was around 4 months. Botulinum toxin A treatment has also been shown to reduce the number of headaches per month, lower the severity of the pain, and reduce the number of medications used.

In a recent study, Botox was used for chronic daily headache. Researchers found that this medication was found to be quite effective, with the majority of patients reporting fewer headache days. In a large randomized, double-blind trial, Botox had an 80% success rate when used to treat headaches. Another study showed botulinum toxin A to be significantly superior to placebo for migraine prevention.

Resources
Gooriah R & Ahmed F (2015). OnabotulinumtoxinA for a chronic migraine: a critical appraisal. Ther Clin Risk Man, 11, 1003-1013.