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.
Dr Perry says:
“Our service in treating patients for exclusively for migraines is for those who have already undergone CT scan and or seen a neurologist for a confirmed diagnosis.
“We are not a migraine or headache clinic, but offer the treatment as our expertise is in the administration of Botox treatment and would do this where we feel this is appropriate for the wellbeing of the patient.
“The dosing of Botox for migraines is greater as we treat multiple areas of the forehead, scalp and neck according to each person’s presentation.”
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.
|Botox for Migraine||from £750-£950|
Botox for Migraine Consultation
The cost of consultation with our doctors is £50. This is redeemable against the cost of treatment carried out on the same day.
Prices are a guide to the costs and the exact price can only be determined once the doctor has examined you in person.
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Botox for Migraines FAQ: Questions & Answers
What is Chronic Migraine?
Chronic Migraine is different to Episodic Migraine. Chronic Migraine occurs more frequently and the pain is more severe.
It is defined as having headaches on 15 or more days each month, with migraine on at least 8 of those days.
Is this treatment approved in the UK?
Botox (onabotulinum toxin A) was licensed specifically for the treatment of chronic migraine in July 2010 by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The NICE guidelines can be viewed and downloaded at https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta260/resources/botulinum-toxin-typea-for-the-prevention-of-headaches-in-adults-with-chronic-migraine-pdf-82600545273541
Can I get this treatment on the NHS?
Some cases will be eligible, but not all. The NICE guidance states:
Botulinum toxin type A is recommended as an option for the prophylaxis of headaches in adults with chronic migraine (defined as headaches on at least 15 days per month of which at least 8 days are with migraine):
- that has not responded to at least three prior pharmacological prophylaxis therapies and
- whose condition is appropriately managed for medication overuse.
In addition, availability of the service varies regionally.
How much does this treatment cost?
Please see the pricing table for latest information on the cost of Botox treatment for migraine.
Where do the injections go?
The Botox migraine treatment protocol involves a series of injections at specific sites based on clinical research. These include forehead, temples, bridge of the nose, back of the head, the neck and the upper back.
Do the injections hurt?
Botox injections are delivered using a very fine and sharp needle, so the process is not as uncomfortable as you might imagine. Botox is mixed with saline (salt water) and this can make the area sting briefly, but the sensation passes quickly.
How long does migraine treatment take?
An experienced doctor or surgeon will normally be able to complete the treatment in around 15 minutes.
Are there any likely side effects?
Most patients suffer no adverse effects at all. Those that do tend to be temporary and quite manageable.
The most commonly reported side-effect is neck pain and stiffness, often accompanied by a ‘wobbly neck’ sensation caused by the injections into the neck and upper shoulder muscles that cause neighbouring muscles to work harder. any Botox-related weakness, stiffness or pain tends to resolve within days to weeks. Anti-inflammatory medication can be helpful for any pain or discomfort.
Avoid muscle relaxants, as these may worsen the problem.
Less common side effects include a temporary drooping of the eyelid which can last a few weeks. Rarely patients may experience flu-like symptoms for a few days at most.
Can I still take medication if I get a migraine?
Botox is a preventive treatment, which means it works to reduce migraines from occurring.
It won’t necessarily eliminate them altogether, so if you do get a migraine, you can take medication to reduce pain once a headache or migraine has already begun.
At Cosmedics, all Botox treatments are carried out by medically qualified doctors or surgeons. You can discuss your medication in full with them during your consultation prior to treatment. They will be able to advise what to do if a migraine occurs while you are on Botox treatment.
How often do I need to have these injections?
The recommended re-treatment schedule is every 12 weeks.
Is there any downtime after Botox migraine treatment?
The vast majority of patients are able to return to their routine daily activities straightaway. Treatment is very well tolerated.