In a quarter of all U.S. households, someone copes with migraines. The condition is so prevalent, in fact, that asthma and diabetes together don’t match migraines for sheer numbers of sufferers. Fortunately, many people dealing with debilitating migraines are getting some relief from a surprising source: Botox.
How do migraines take their toll?
The pain of a migraine often appears along with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, vision problems and severe reactions to sound and light. Symptoms can be so extreme that individuals suffering a migraine attack need to stay for hours or even days in a dark room. As a result, work and family responsibilities can suffer.
While there’s not a cure for migraines, treatment options include antidepressants and blood-pressure lowering medications. For patients who cannot tolerate these medications, there’s another option.
How does Botox work as a treatment for migraines?
Botox has been deemed safe and effective by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for migraines. Researchers believe Botox relieves migraines by blocking neurotransmitters in the brain that send pain signals to the body.
Patients receive injections in several different groups of muscles spread throughout the neck, shoulders and head. While some patients experience mild discomfort, most are willing to tolerate it for the relief from migraines that Botox affords. Patients undergo treatments every three to six months and find that Botox often increases in effectiveness over time.