Botox and migraine – a beautiful combination or a headache?

Patients suffering from daily headaches who received injections of botulinum toxin have reported that although their headaches have slightly reduced, they have suffered from increasing numbers of side effects such as stiff necks and weak muscles.

A study from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA discovered that the numbers of headaches patients experienced per month after receiving Botox injections was reduced by only two fewer headaches a month in the average patient in comparison to patients receiving a placebo injection.  The results come from an analysis of over 5000 patients who received botulinum toxin or placebo injections in different places in their head or neck either on one occasion or over the course of a few months.

Approximately half of the participants experienced side effects and muscle weakness was nine times more likely to occur in those patients receiving Botox than those receiving the placebo. The researchers have noted that the study is a “more definitive conclusion” that Botox will not help people experiencing infrequent headaches but it remains the only approved treatment for chronic migraines from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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