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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Botox For Headaches

The use of onabotulinimtoxinA (Botox) has been used by injection for the treatment of migraines and tension headaches. The injections can be placed in one or more of several locations depending upon the severity of the symptoms and the location of the symptoms. Individual consultation is best when determining the amount of Botox injected, and the frequency of repeat injections. After many studies   evidence-based review published in 2008 by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) concluded that botulinum toxin is probably ineffective for the treatment of single episode of migraine, this was reaffirmed in 2010. However there is medical evidence that  Botox injection is effective for the treatment of chronic migraines without auras, meaning headaches on greater than or equal to 15 days a months, with about half of these being the migraines. (ie, headache on ≥15 days per month for at least three months, with at least eight of the 15 headaches per month fulfilling criteria for migraine without aura). The studies show that Botox is moderately helpful over placebo, and the studies have not really compared Botox to the other migraine medications, but usually in women who have not had other treatments be successful. It seems to reduce the frequency of the headaches by 20-50%, and can be an excellent strategy if injected by an experienced injector. Based on some studies that were not as favorable, many insurance companies do not have this as a covered service, but it is sometimes possible that health savings plans can cover these services.

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