Chronic headaches / migraines affect about 1% of the UK population
Common Symptoms Include:
- Severe headache
- Visual disturbances e.g. spots or flashing lights
- Sensitivity to light, noise, or smells
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tingling sensations, pins and needles, and weakness or numbness in the limbs
We advise patients to consult their GP in the first instance for treatments and investigations into severe/worrying/persistent headaches. Where patients have had a full check-up and diagnosis and tried other treatments, then Botox may provide an alternative option with potentially longer-lasting benefits.
Botox for Migraines
Botox is a recognised and approved treatment for migraines.
However it is now clear that some of these patients who have suffered with migraines and certain types of headaches in the past no longer have the symptoms or else find that they are much reduced in frequency and/or severity.
Botox was approved in 2010 as a preventive treatment for chronic migraine in the UK by drug regulators MHRA; after having been previously approved by the FDA in the US.
This will come as a welcome relief to know there is another treatment to add to the list as most sufferers really struggle to find a treatment that is totally effective.
The approvals come after a trial of more than 1,300 patients showed success in reducing the frequency of headaches.
- In clinical trials, patients were given up to five courses of injections of Botox into specific head and neck muscles every 12 weeks.
- After 24 weeks, those treated with Botox had fewer days with migraine than those who received a placebo injection.
- By one year, nearly 70% of those treated with Botox had a 50% reduction in the number of migraines compared with before the trial.
The MHRA (medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency) said only patients who suffer headaches for at least 2 weeks a month, half of which come with migraine symptoms, are eligible for treatment on the NHS; where that patient has not responded to at least 3 forms of medication.
There are many clinics offering Botox for cosmetic purposes but only clinics like Flawless Aesthetic Climic who are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are authorised to give Botox for medical purposes such as migraine and hyperhydrosis.