Botox recommended for headache treatment on the NHS

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has today published draft guidance recommending the use of botulinum toxin type A injections for the treatment of headaches on the NHS. Previously, NICE has questioned the manufacturer of Botox over its value for money but have been satisfied with the answers given.

As such, Botox injections are now being recommended as a treatment option for chronic migraine in adults for whom previous treatments have been ineffective and whose condition is monitored for medication overuse. The Botox treatment would subsequently be stopped once the patient’s headache days are reduced to less than 15 days a month or if they have not improved sufficiently to warrant further treatment following two treatment cycles.

Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Health Technology Evaluation Centre at NICE said, “we are pleased that the committee has been able to recommend Botox as a therapy…” Final guidance will be issued to the NHS on the use of the drug for patients with chronic migraine and following this guidance, the NHS will allocate funding to begin Botox treatment for patients within three months.

If you are looking for information on headache treatments and are unsure if you will be eligible for Botox therapy, Dr Eli Silber, Consultant Neurologist at King’s College Hospital, London, has written advice for patients on treating headaches and migraines.

The basic unit of all living organisms. Full medical glossary
A disease of long duration generally involving slow changes. Full medical glossary
intermittent claudication Full medical glossary
A severe headache, often lasting 4 -72 hours and accompanied by visual disturbances, nausea and vomiting. Full medical glossary
A substance poisonous to the body. Full medical glossary
A specialist in the treatment of diseases of the urinary tract, the channels that carry urine from the kidneys to the outside of the body. Full medical glossary