Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin produced by the anaerobic, gram-positive bacterium Clostridium botulinum. BOTOX is the commercial name of the products that is used in cosmetic procedures.
BOTOX can also help prevent migraines and improve quality of life of migraine sufferers.
Chronic migraine (CM) is a debilitating headache, causes substantial disability, and reduces health-related quality of life. The use of pain medication doesn’t always produce effective relief, and can cause serious side effects.
Chronic migraine is characterized by ≥15 headache days per month, and causes significant personal burden. Those with CM experience greater headache impact, reduced productivity at work, and decreased health-related quality of life (HRQoL) than those with episodic migraine.
Research suggests that BOTOX is a safe and effective treatment against migraines. PREEMPT is the largest clinical program to investigate the use of BOTOX (onabotulinumtoxinA) as a prophylactic treatment for CM. Patients were randomized to BOTOX or placebo every 12 weeks for two cycles, followed by BOTOX for three cycles. This study shows that patients who began treatment with BOTOX earlier in the trial had better outcomes than those who started later in the trial. Patients who received five treatment cycles did better at 56 weeks and continued to improve. This suggests that a patient will can benefit more the longer she or he is treated with BOTOX.
Repeated treatment with BOTOX significantly reduced headache-related disability and improved overall HRQoL over a 56-week period. Patients who continued with treatment had a statistically significantly greater improvement in the frequencies of migraine days. Patients who started BOTOX treatment earlier had a ≥50% reduction from baseline in frequency of headache days and migraine days than patients who started BOTOX later. Additionally, patients who continued to receive BOTOX after 24 weeks continued to have ongoing improvement in other measures. These patients had a reduced frequency of migraine episodes and headache episodes, and total cumulative headache hours on headache. They were also able to reduce their use of migraine medication. The most commonly reported treatment-related side effects in patients who received all five treatment cycles of BOTOX were neck pain (4.3%), muscular weakness (1.6%), and injection site pain (2.1%).
A recent review also confirms these beneficial effects and shows that treatment with BOTOX produces statistically significant and clinically meaningful reductions in headache impact and improvements in HRQoL that persist and continue to improve with long term use. Data from the double-blind phase of the studies shows significant improvement with BOTOX versus placebo.
BOTOX has rapid and continued benefits on a long-term (>1 year) basis, can help reduce headache impact, and improves health-related quality of life.
A new study also shows that those who had BOTOX treatments have a significantly lower likelihood of headache-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations, compared to those who use migraine prophylactic medications.
BOTOX is contraindicated in the presence of infection at the proposed injection site(s) and in those with known hypersensitivity to any botulinum toxin preparation or to any of the components in the formulation. It’s also contraindicated in patients with pre-existing motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, Eaton-Lambert syndrome, neuropathies, and shouldn’t be used by pregnant and lactating females.
If you have migraines, and want to prevent unwanted and dangerous side effects with migraine medications, then speak with Dr. Gafanovich about the possibility of BOTOX injections. Evidence suggests that it can be a safe and effective solutions with long-term benefits.