Does Botox Help Migraines
I Waited Too Long To Try Botox
Having had migraines for forty years (since I was 12), I have tried many many different remedies, treatments and medications, most of which help to an extent. For about a year now my neurologist has been patiently suggesting I try Botox.
Having done some Google research and discovered that a few people end up getting a dreadful headache just from the injections themselves, I decided against it. Also hated the idea of putting toxins into my body.
Finally, about four months ago, having reached 'medication over-use headache' saturation point, the neurologist told me I had to limit my medication use (I use Relpax when I get an attack - find it more effective than Naramig, which I took for years) to just 2-3/week! Clearly impossible during term-time (I'm a teacher) when I was getting them almost daily.
Both my job and my family were suffering as a result and my husband and I once again searched for alternatives, which included another look at Botox.
Interestingly, it had just been approved for inclusion on the (Australian) Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (the PBS), which made it slightly more affordable. With precious little choice open to me, I finally gave in and booked an appointment.
The 31 needles in my head, neck and shoulders were pretty painful, but I got through it by listening to a guided meditation. While I still had to pay for most of the neurologist session, I got just over a third back on the cost of the actual Botox.
The next couple of days I suffered on as usual, but by Day 6 my head was sparingly clear. Since then I've had periods of up to 12 days (unthinkable!) without any kind of migraine - or tension headache, which I also used to be plagued with.
My life changed completely. I had time to do things, see people, get work done on time, dare to plan things. Extraordinary.
And no side-effects (other than a slightly smoother forehead!). About 6-7 weeks after the treatment the migraines gradually started to come back and now (9 weeks on) I'm getting them almost as frequently as before. Nothing like as intensely though.
Both the neurologist and my local doctor assure me it's normal to have to go through this wearing-off period and that I'm not alone. They also say that the more treatments you have, the longer the effect lasts.
So I am still extremely hopeful. Can't wait for the next treatment - and for the migraine freedom I know will follow. I feel the need to shout about it from the rooftops as if it can help me, it can help others too. They say it works for people getting migraines at least half the time, so I guess it's not for everyone. Always worth asking though.
Financially, it's expensive at first but I've taken way less (expensive!) medication, needed way fewer massage and acupuncture sessions - and gained days and days of time! We reckon it's probably costing less than if I hadn't had the treatment.
So if you're hesitating about Botox, go and talk to your doctor/neurologist. It might just be that one treatment that makes a difference.