Can Botox Actually Cure Migraines?

botox for migraines

Maybe you’ve heard about Botox for migraines… wondering if it’s effective? Anyone who has suffered a migraine knows how difficult it can be to carry on with a daily routine or achieve much of anything once the pain hits, which leaves people looking for any sort of relief.

Botox injections are quickly becoming one of the preferred treatments available to migraine sufferers. Learn more about the benefits of Botox and other current migraine treatments today.

Is It a Headache or a Migraine?

People who have experienced a migraine know the difference between that and an ordinary headache. If it can be eased with Tylenol or other over-the-counter medication, it is not a migraine. A migraine is a severe headache that is accompanied by an array of other symptoms. A person may experience sensitivity to light or sound, nausea and vomiting, and pain around the temples, eye or ear. They can see flashing lights or spots (aura) or may have to contend with temporary vision loss. Migraines can last anywhere from 4-72 hours and be aggravated by physical activity.

An FDA-Approved Migraine Treatment

Many people find it difficult to find a treatment that works for their migraines. Even though prescription medications are on the market, not everyone has the same response to them. For some, it may be high time to explore Botox or botulinum toxin. Botox injections can be a useful preventative measure for those who deal with frequent and severe migraines. FDA approved since 2010, users should be aware that there are side effects associated with the treatment, including dry mouth, discomfort at an injection site, dry eyes, and neck pain.

How Does Botox Work?

Botox blocks an important neurotransmitter that stimulates the contraction of muscles and may decrease pain messages to the brain. It takes about six months for the Botox to train your muscles to relax, so doctors recommend at least 2-3 cycles of injections before deciding if the treatment works for you. Not all are eligible for the treatment as they must be considered as having chronic migraines (CM), dealing with migraines at least 15 days out of the month.

Botox is Not for Everyone

Even though Botox injections are a relatively safe treatment option according to the FDA, it may not be right for you. In fact, neurologists and insurance companies may require you to try various other treatment options before Botox injections.

As with any course of medical treatment, it's important to do your research and consult with your primary care physician or specialist. They may recommend some alternative approaches to combating chronic migraines, such as lifestyle changes or medication. 

Alternative Migraine Medications

Individuals with either chronic or episodic migraines may find some measure of relief with other migraine treatments including:

  • Anticonvulsants, like Topamax or Lyrica
  • Triptanes, like Zomig or Axert
  • Beta Blockers or Calcium Channel Blockers
  • CGRP antagonists, like Aimovig

These medications all require a prescription, and some are preventative in nature while others aim to reduce symptoms as they occur. None of these drugs alone or in combination may eliminate CM altogether. However, they may help increase the number of migraine-free days for a person.

At-Home Remedies for Migraine Treatment

There are also a number of lifestyle changes people can make to try and reduce their number of monthly migraines. The first step to treating your chronic migraines is to:

  • Figure out your triggers and avoid them; common triggers include stress, alcohol and caffeine
  • Get enough sleep each night
  • Drink plenty of water every day
  • Try lavender essential oil

Everyone’s migraine is different, and experimenting to find what works best for you is part of the process. To find out if you qualify for Botox, or if you need to speak to someone right away about your migraines, visit CareSpot Urgent Care now.