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Botox for migraines

hoover

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
355
Has anyone tried this to treat their migraines?

Mine can't be controlled by Zomig or Maxalt anymore. Acupuncture and trigger point injections don't provide relief for more than 2 weeks anymore either. The trigger point injections are really painful, not as costly, but only gave me 2 days' relief this time ;(

Have had a migraine for 6 days of the last 2 weeks and I'm getting pretty desperate for relief. I'm considering Botox because it sounds promising but the side effects sound scary (loss of neck/muscle strength, droopy eyes, triggering or exacerbating migraines) and it's expensive at around $1000 - $3000 per session depending on how many units are required. Seems to last 3-6 months...

I'd love to hear from other people who've tried Botox for their migraines or other remedies that might work. I'm open to anything at this point!
 

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distracts

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Oct 11, 2011
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I have not tried Botox for my migraines. If you have them so frequently, have you discussed any other preventive medications with your doctor, like beta blockers etc? My bff gets migraines alllll the time and was on beta blockers for a long time and now is on a drug used to treat epilepsy that is also good for migraines. Both were effective - she was taken off the beta blockers for some other health reason.
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 10, 2010
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2,394
Do you get halos with your migraines? If so, you might be eligible to try a new device, SpringTMS, that was approved by the FDA earlier this year. Here's some information:
http://www.eneura.com/

My friend often gets 4 or 5 migraines a week and had tried a variety of drugs that didn't help much. Since she doesn't get halos, her doctor said she wasn't a good candidate for the SpringTMS. She just got the botox injections a week ago and so far has only gotten 2 migraines. She said the shots in her forehead hurt quite a bit and left marks, and the shots in her scalp, neck and shoulders weren't really painful at all. A side effect is that it looks like she's scowling. The full benefits won't occur until the second or third series of shots, but she's already experiencing some benefit.

Here are some other drugs you may want to consider if you haven't tried them yet: sumatriptane, class of triptans (but possible rebound headaches), topamax, amatriptaline, mormatriptoline, riztriptan, pitozifen, propanolol, benadryl for histamine triggered migraines, tramadol, singulair for weather related migraines, DHE nasal spray, verapamil, epilepsy meds.
 

Ariadne_Theia

Shiny_Rock
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Jan 15, 2014
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270
I have chronic migraine and I tried Botox. I had 2 treatments 3 months apart. I had no side effects but it had zero effect on my headaches. I advise trying other prescriptions first (I have tried multiple and am starting a new one). I would save botox for later because many of the other prescriptions I failed cost like 15 dollars and botox cost me 3k a treatment. Also, it's 31 shots into your face, neck and head and needless to say it hurts/burns. Of course, this is just my experience and ymwv. You should definitely talk it over with your doctor.
 

Calliecake

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 7, 2014
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6,670
Mary Poppins and Ariadne, They can give you a numbing gel to put on your forehead in the places they give the shots. You apply the gel about 10 minutes before getting the shots. You won't feel a thing if you use the numbing gel.
 

hoover

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
355
Thank you for the replies and sharing your experiences distracts, mary poppins, Ariadne, and Calliecake

Beta blockers and topamax (the anti seizure drug) are a no go - I was told it's not recommended for insomniacs or high levels of focus and attention to detail are required (apparently side effects include memory loss, fogginess, and even personality changes and nightmares :errrr: )

I didn't like the nasal spray Migranal (an ergot?) but the triptans were effective for a while. I will check with my doc to see if there are others in this class that may work for me.

I don't get halos, and I bought a device similar to what mary poppins posted - a Cefaly (http://www.cefaly.ca) from Costco and it is ok... I'm still on the fence about this, although most reviews on the Costco website are good and it's been on the market for a few years. http://www.costco.ca/Cefaly®-Anti-migraine-Device.product.10353011.html

Thanks for the tip about the numbing gel for the injection sites... I'll keep that in mind if I actually go through with the Botox. It seems like a steep investment but could be worth it if it works.
 

hoover

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
355
Thank you for the tip about chili peppers, mary poppins. I'm willing to try it and if it's a drug free remedy with no icky side effects, all the better - and salsa or hot and sour soup is definitely a medicine that won't be hard to swallow :tongue:
 

GliderPoss

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
2,098
I feel your pain! ;( I've had migraines ever since I was a child. I've tried beta blockers which worked but made me so jittery I couldn't stand it. I haven't tried botox but would be interested to hear results & feedback on it.
 

hoover

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
355
So... I got the Botox injections.... I benefitted from having an awesome doctor who submitted a case for me to our provincial health and my supplemental health insurance plans. Since I met the conditions of severity (more than 15 days per month and more than 4 hours in duration) the province pays her fees and my health insurance pays for 80% of the Botox. Apparently if you do not have supplemental health insurance, the province does have a High Cost Drug subsidy plan that you can apply for. My cost came out to $200.

The procedure: the nurse offered me numbing cream, and I decided to take her up on the offer so she put some on my forehead and my traps. The nurse then took pictures of me with a normal expression and then with an angry face and a surprised face. Apparently this is to ensure that they poke the right areas and don't leave me expressionless for a while. The doctor came in and explained again what she was going to do, what risks are and that the procedure might trigger a migraine or make it worse if I have one now. She also said that it could take up to two or three weeks to see results and she then asked me if I had any questions or concerns and showed me a picture of the sites she's going to inject. I asked if it's going to hurt a lot and she said it's like a mosquito bite because she uses insulin needles which is very fine gauge and not like regular vaccination needles. after icing the sites a bit, she injected the Botox into my eyebrows, forehead, temples, back of the neck and my traps. The needles into the forehead and eyebrows didn't hurt but the ones in the back of the neck and traps hurt. Still less painful than trigger point injections. She also changed needles frequently, which probably helped.

Right after: I had a bit of redness at the injections sites and she told me they would go away in 10-15 minutes. They did. She also told me not to go workout within 4 hours of the injection just to give my body time to absorb the Botox. And I felt hot. She said it's a normal response as it's my body's shock response to all those needles. That feeling went away after 30 mins.

About 4 hours after, I noticed my traps didn't hurt as much and my head did hurt a little less. I wasn't expecting immediate relief, so that was unexpected. Still had the pressure and nausea of a migraine though.

It's been a couple days, and I stil feel the same as the evening that I got the shots. We'll see how it goes later on. I read that it might take a couple courses before you see the full effects of the treatment. I'll see how it goes, but since I don't have to pay the full cost, I probably would try a second round.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought some of you would be interested in the details of what's involved. :rodent:
 

hoover

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
355
Mary poppins - I've been eating a lot of sriracha sauce and salsa after reading that article you linked :cheeky:
Hoping that combining these things will lead to decreased or complete resolution of symptoms without having to take meds
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
2,394
Checking in to see how you are doing with the Botox and chili peppers, hoover. Hopefully fewer or eliminated migraines since you got the injections.
 

hoover

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
355
Hi Mary Poppins :wavey:

I'm doing much better, thanks for asking :)

I've only had one headache and one migraine day since the injections and adding chili peppers to my diet almost two weeks ago :dance: the migraine wasn't even a really bad one where I have to hole up in a dark room. My traps don't feel stiff all the time like I have a constant tension headache anymore and my eyeball isn't feeling like it's being stabbed repeatedly.
I haven't been eating a ton of chili peppers - more like adding a teaspoon of sambal oelek or sriracha sauce to my lunch or dinner or when I have salsa, it's about 1/2 a cup. Enough to feel the heat, but not enough to burn a hole through my stomach ;-)

I'm glad I tried it out and will probably try a second round of injections. It's awesome to not have the groggy, drugged up feeling from the migraine meds. I did manage my expectations going in, though. I did not expect significant results and was aiming for just a reduction in duration, severity, or frequency of migraines. So far, that check mark has been ticked off. Next check box would be to see how long that relief lasts.

Note regarding the Botox side effects: making angry or surprised faces don't have the same effect anymore. Your eyebrows don't move as much so you don't get the same level of expression. My angry face now just looks like I'm squinting really hard :roll:
 

hippi_pixi

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
630
hello :)

I haven't tried botox myself but I suffer from migraines and I am a Dentist. If you are having relief from the botox you may also get relief from a dental appliance called a Nightguard or an Occlusal Splint. The muscles where you have botox injected to treat migraines are the same muscles that are overused in people who grind their teeth during the night. Many of my patients get relief from headaches and migraines from having a Nightguard.

it may seem out of left field, a lot of my patients are disbelieving at first, but it sounds like it is a fraction of the price of Botox. I assume you are in the US so I don't know how much they cost to have made there but should be between $100 and $500.

basically its a custom fitted piece of hard acrylic that separates your teeth, stopping you from grinding and positioning the jaw open 3-4mm to relax the muscles.
 
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