People usually think of Botulinum Toxin as an anti ageing treatment used to tackle frown lines and wrinkles. But this week I thought we’d take a look at some of the alternative uses for the drug, so this is part one of my series on alternative uses for Botox.
According to the Migraine Trust, the number of people who suffer from migraines is the equivalent to the entire population of Wales and Scotland, and there are reported to be 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK.
As sufferers will know, migraines can be intensely painful and debilitating, and conventional painkillers often offer little relief. The most common symptom is an intensely painful headache, but some people also suffer from disturbed vision, feeling sick and sensitivity to sound, light and smell.
Many doctors and patients observed that following Botulinum Toxin treatment for other reasons, they stopped getting migraines. Two large studies in the USA , which were published in the March 2010 issue of Cephalagia (magazine of the International Headache Society), showed that patients treated with Botox experienced ‘a major decrease in the frequency of migraine days’.
The exact cause of migraines is unclear, but it often runs in families. It’s thought that people who suffer from migraines have unusually sensitive brains and a build up of nerve cell activity in the brain is the cause of the pain. It’s also believed that there can be a vascular cause, with abnormal functioning of the blood vessels in the brain being responsible.
Botulinum Toxin was licensed for the treatment of chronic migraine in the UK in 2010 and I’ve had great success treating patients, it’s amazing to see what relief it can provide. Treatment should take place very three months, and involves multiple injections to the head and neck.
I find it helpful for patients to bring a migraine diary to their appointment, so we can discuss all possible triggers and symptoms. The Migraine Trust has information on keeping a migraine diary here.
If you want to know more about how Botulinum Toxin may help you with migraine relief, or you would like to know more about any of my other treatments, then please get in touch. You can comment on this blog post, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @DrDanielSister. I look forward to hearing from you.