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Botox for Chronic Migranes

Botox: just the latest Hollywood fad?

Not if you have chronic migraine headaches.

Botox is not only a cosmetic procedure. It can also reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches in people who experience chronic migraines.

In the United States, 3.3 million adults have Chronic Migraine.

If you have Chronic Migraine headaches, Botox at Eye Physicians of Long Beach, in Long Beach, CA may be a treatment option for you.

What Is a Chronic Migraine?

Young woman with migraine

Chronic migraine is a condition where you experience migraine headaches, which usually cause severe pain,  on 15 or more days per month, for any 3 month period, with each of the headaches lasting for four hours or longer.

Chronic migraine is different than other types of headaches, such as episodic migraine, tension headaches, or cluster headaches. Botox is not known to work well for other types of headaches. Botox is only FDA-approved for chronic migraine.

Before considering Botox, it is important to understand what type of headaches you have. Only 20 percent of people with chronic migraine are accurately diagnosed.  Please see your Primary Care Physician or Neurologist for an evaluation if you think you may have chronic migraine.

It’s important to pursue a solid diagnosis before you start looking into treatments. If you have less than 15 days per month of headaches and if those headaches aren’t migraines, Botox is not right for you.

What Is Botox?

Botox is a form of botulinum toxin, which is a neurotoxin (a poison made by bacteria). It blocks signals from your nerves.

Botox can be safely used by trained physicians for headaches, cosmetic procedures, as well as for other medical needs. When concentrated in small areas, Botox temporarily paralyzes muscles and reduces muscle contractions.

How Does Botox Work?

When used as a treatment for chronic migraines, Botox is injected near pain fibers in the head or neck that are involved in headaches. In these locations, it enters the nearby nerve endings and does not allow the release of chemicals that are needed for pain signals to be sent to your brain.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Botox for migraines!

Yes, Botox is FDA approved for treating chronic migraine. Small doses of Botox are safe if you visit a certified professional for injections.

If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have health issues, speak with your doctor before beginning a treatment plan in Long Beach, CA.

Yes. Botox has become a common treatment for chronic migraine. It became FDA approved for adults with chronic migraine in 2010.  Since then, more than 500,000 people with chronic migraines have safely received this effective treatment.

Multiple clinical studies have proven that Botox is a safe and effective chronic migraine treatment.

Most patients begin with receiving two treatments, 12 weeks apart. The injections are given in your doctor’s office and typically don’t take longer than 15 to 20 minutes.

At each appointment, you’ll receive 31 injections total, each one in a shallow muscle in your head or neck. You can go home right after receiving the injections. If Botox works for you after the first two sessions, you’ll receive one treatment session every 12 weeks.

The small needles feel like tiny pinches or pinpricks. Some patients will experience mild pain or soreness at the injection site, which can be eased with the use of an ice pack.

A full evaluation by a certified professional is necessary to know if Botox is a safe and potentially effective option for you or someone you care about.

You are most likely a good candidate for Botox for Chronic Migraine in Long Beach, CA if:

  • You are at least 18 years of age. (Botox is not recommended for children or younger teens, as it’s not FDA-approved for anyone under 18 years of age)
  • You have a headache for at least 15 days each month, and the headache lasts for four hours or more each day

For most insurance plans to cover Botox for Chronic Migraine, you need to fail to respond to two or more other treatments. If this is your first treatment for chronic migraine, it’s likely your insurance won’t cover it.

If you’re not eligible, speak with your Primary Care Doctor or Neurologist about other treatments for chronic migraine. These might include:

  • Blood pressure medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-convulsants
  • Serotonin antagonists
  • Magnesium salts
  • Vitamins
  • Herbals

If your headaches start to worsen over time, you may become a good candidate for Botox later.

Yes — like many treatments, Botox has possible side effects.  The chance of experiencing these side effects is very small if you have a certified injector.  You might experience problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing.

You may also experience allergic reactions like itching, rash, wheezing, or dizziness. Some patients experience loss of strength, eye problems, blurred vision, and loss of bladder control.

Finally, you may have less severe side effects such as tiredness or neck pain.

Please speak with your doctor if you are concerned about any of these side effects.

Patients frequently see results after one set of injections, a higher percentage will begin to see results by the second or third set of injections. The more treatment cycles you go through, the more Botox will help.

You may continue taking acute medications while receiving Botox treatments in Long Beach, CA. Botox works to prevent headaches, while acute medications relieve pain.

Your doctor may recommend keeping your acute medications on hand to take in case of a headache. This depends entirely on the recommendation of your doctor and what they believe is best for you.

The majority of costs of Botox for Chronic Migraine are covered by most insurance plans.

For your insurance company to approve Botox, you need to have tried other treatments. This means you need to have tried other preventative treatments for chronic migraines.

These treatments might have included blood pressure medication, antidepressants, or anticonvulsants. If those previous treatments didn’t help your chronic migraines, your insurance will usually cover Botox.

Botox generally costs between $300 and $600 for each treatment without insurance coverage.

If you’re tired of dealing with the debilitating symptoms of chronic migraine, we can help! Schedule an appointment with Eye Physicians of Long Beach in Long Beach, CA.

Our specialized, trained physician at Eye Physicians of Long Beach, Dr. Ghafouri will evaluate you and come up with a personalized treatment plan and start you on the road to recovery! Let us help you get your life back using the power of Botox treatments for chronic migraine!

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