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How To Get Botox Prescribed For Migraines

What To Expect From Getting Botox

Botox for Migraines || My experience

Botox injections themselves are almost painless. You may experience a very small sting or slight burning sensation with each injection.

Each session will last between 10 and 15 minutes. During the sessions, your doctor will inject multiple doses of Botox into specific points along your head and shoulders.

After the treatment, most patients are able to continue their day as usual without any issues.

Is Therapeutic Botox Treatment Painful

Not really. A tiny needle is used for Botox injections. You may feel a momentary pinch or burning sensation that will quickly disappear.

A series of injections are usually given during each treatment, and it typically takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

Most patients can return immediately to their regular routine.

Get A Recent Copy Of Your Insurance Companys Formulary

Many migraine patients depend on a prescription to treat their attack and because of that, you should always have a copy of your insurances formulary. The doctor and the pharmacist youre seeing can inform you what medications are on your health insurance but you should always be your own advocate.

For most insurance companies, you can find the formulary on the website, but if you are unable, they can send it upon request via email. Print it out, and take it to your doctor, so you can discuss prescriptions covered by the health insurance and what you need from their practice to get approved for coverage.

Also Check: Migraines And Fever

How Is A Botox Injection Performed

A Botox® injection is done in the office and takes the same amount of time as a regular medical visit. For migraine treatment, the doctor will administer 31 Botox® injections in 7 targeted areas of the head and neck muscles, including the nose, nose bridge, forehead, temples, the back of the head, as well as the neck and upper back. These locations are chosen to target the nerves which cause headache pain. In turn, Botox® enters the nerves and blocks pain signals from activation.

The injection process is relatively painless. Some patients describe the sensation as tiny pinpricks. If necessary, topical anesthesia can be used at the injection site before Botox® is administered.

How Effective Is It

Botox For Migraine

The goal is not to become completely free of headache or migraine but to improve quality of life, and to convert migraine from chronic to episodic.

About one in four patients do not respond one in four respond well to the first or second set of injections, and half need more than two sets of injections to get a good response. Studies show that 47% of patients had a 50% or greater reduction in the number of days with headache.

The biological effect of botulinum toxin on nerves takes several days or a few weeks to work. You should not expect chronic migraine to improve properly in less than 4 weeks. Some patients do not start to improve until after their second set of injections which is given 12 weeks after the first set of injections.

Also Check: How Common Are Visual Migraines

What Is Botox Treatment Like

This treatment involves tiny injections of Botox into seven different head and neck muscles. It usually takes about 15 minutes. Dr. Bowers typically delivers the medication via a very tiny needle that might feel like a pinprick. Botox may take one or two treatment sessions to see the maximum benefits. Patients typically receive Botox injections every 3 months to treat migraines. It is important to receive this treatment quarterly so that your migraines do not return.

How Much Does It Cost And Does Insurance Cover It

It can also be expensive. Depending on your insurance, it can cost quite a lot of money â I’ve changed insurance providers since I first started, and my first provider was around $330 a month and charged me around $1,000 per Botox round . My new plan is much more expensive, around $600 a month, but the Botox copay is only $30 each time, so even if Botox is the only medical procedure I need to have done in the year, it made sense to switch.

The last thing I’ve found to be a little frustrating is that my body tends to metabolize the Botox a bit faster than I can get it. While Ravitz tells me I can’t get the treatment any more frequently than every three months, because that’s the rate at which the body can develop antibodies against it, I find my migraines amping up in frequency again about two to two and a half months after I get the shots. However, given the fact that with the Botox, my migraines have gone down from about four a week to one or two at most, it’s absolutely increased my quality of life, and I’m glad I gave it a shot…or 40.

Also Check: Migraine Postdrome Duration

Getting Insurance For Migraine Treatments

In reality, patients rarely have to pay for the full cost of the migraine treatment. Most migraine patients in the US do have some sort of insurance commercial or government-issued. Paying out-of-pocket for the complete treatment is extremely rare as most people do have some assistance with paying via their insurance.

How do things work with using insurance to cover your migraine treatment? Usually, the insurance company will provide you with a list of medications and treatments on the formulary. The insurance formulary is the official list of prescription drugs covered by the insurer.

The medications on the formulary are either completely or partially covered by the insurance so chances are, you might not even have to pay anything. For the drugs or treatments that arent on the formulary, the patent must pay a larger portion of the cost which is commonly the full cost of the drug.

Do keep in mind that for most treatments and medications, you will have the responsibility for a co-pay, but it usually depends on your health plan. Moreover, keep in mind that new medication for migraines will be very expensive, even if they are on the health insurance formulary.

Who Can Take Botox

Botox® Treatment for Migraines: Sarah’s Story

Patients suffering from a chronic migraine, in which a headache is known to occur for 15 or more days of a month out of which 8 days are with a migraine, can take Botox.

This is not the only way of treating migraine. One needs to consult with the doctor to know about other methods as well and then choose the one that best suits them. A visit to the migraine clinic would let the patient show all his medical history, according to which the treatment can be carried out.

Botox should be taken only from a trained injector who has received proper training regarding its diagnosis as well as treatment.

Botox is known to contraindicate in the following situations:

  • When there is an injection in the site at which the injection is applied.
  • Patients who are hypersensitive to botulinum toxin type A or to any constituents used for the formation of Botox.
  • It might affect negatively during pregnancy, so must not be taken without doctors advice.Similarly, lactating mothers should avoid taking this as it can affect the newborn by passing through the milk.
  • Patients having neurological problems such as difficulty in swallowing are at greater risk of having side effects from Botox. Persons with peripheral motor neuropathic diseases also require extra caution while being administered with the doses.
  • Patients having neuromuscular disorders might face severe side-effects such as acute dysphagia and respiratory compromise on the application of typical doses of BOTOX.
  • Recommended Reading: Do I Have A Migraine Quiz

    The Verdict: Yes I Would Recommend It

    So far, it’s been a lifesaver for me. Prior to Botox, I’d been experiencing around three or four migraines a week that would have me waving the white flag, and now I’m down to one on average . I also find that my medication works better when I feel one coming on.

    That said, there are a few things I’d make sure everyone knows before trying it. For one thing, it can be pretty painful. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but getting 30 to 40 shots every three months is pretty rough â it feels a bit like getting tattooed with a bee’s stinger, but once the needle is out of your skin, the pain goes away, and if it works for you, it’s worth it. It’s also important to know that it can take some time to work. The first treatment barely worked at all for me, and the second round took a few weeks. If you’re going to try it out, be patient.

    Read more about Botox:

    Botox For Migraines And Headaches: Costs And Treatment Review

    Headaches are one of the most common nervous system disorders and a major cause of disability worldwide, affecting 47% of adult population in the United States alone. According to the International Headache Society, a headache is classified as a primary headache disorder if the headache itself is the illness and there are no other causes diagnosed. The most common primary headache disorder in clinical practice is migraine. Up to 15% of the worlds population is afflicted with the debilitating disorder. The World Health Organization ranks chronic migraine to be as disabling as dementia, psychosis, and quadriplegiaseverely impacting the quality of life. It causes disruption of household and social activities, and functional impairment.

    Also Check: What Pressure Points Get Rid Of Migraines

    How Botox Works For Migraines

    Botox works by reducing muscle contractions and stopping neurotransmitters from sending pain signals to your brain. This can help reduce the pain caused by migraines and lets many patients enjoy daily life without interruption.

    The effect is only temporary, so patients will need to receive ongoing treatment. The most common treatment timeline involves an injection every 12 weeks, or four times per year. It may take several weeks to experience migraine relief after an injection. Your doctor may adjust this timeline according to your individual needs.

    Botox And The Treatment Pie

    Botox for migraine headaches  Within Normal Limits of ...

    For some people, Botox for Migraine is the answer they have been waiting for. It prevents all their migraine attacks and allows them to live nearly migraine free.

    However, for most of us living with chronic migraine it is another effective preventive treatment which needs to be used in conjunction with the other slices of the Migraine Strong Treatment Pie. This essentially means that in addition to Botox treatment, you need to also make lifestyle changes, meditate, hydrate, take supplements, take other preventive medication, and/or exercise. Because each individual is differently affected by migraine, we all have to find our own combination of treatments which work for us.

    For me, Botox is one of the treatments which helps me manage migraine disease. Other preventive medications, injectibles, nerve blocks, supplements, and meditations are some of the slices of my treatment pie.

    Recommended Reading: How Common Are Visual Migraines

    What Type Of Headache Responds Best To Botox

    Botox is only FDA-approved for chronic migraines, which means headache on 15 or more days a month. The more frequent the headaches, the better the patient does with Botox, says Dr. Andrew Blumenfeld, Director, The Headache Center of Southern California. Botox is not recommended for patients who experience fewer than 15 headache days a month.

    How Botox Is Given

    Botoxs form is a powder that comes in a single-use vial. The drug is mixed into a liquid solution. For preventing headaches in adults with chronic migraine, the medication is given as intramuscular injections. Youll receive these from a healthcare provider.

    Injection sites

    Because intramuscular injections are given directly into a muscle, you may be wondering where they are injected for migraine headaches. Here are the Botox injection sites:

    • between your shoulder and neck on your right and left sides
    • at the back of your neck, by the base of your skull on both your right and left sides
    • the back of your head, behind each ear
    • the middle of your forehead, above each eye
    • the lower part of your forehead, right above your nose
    • the lower part of your forehead, near the inside edge of each eyebrow
    • behind each temple, above the ear

    Read Also: Do I Have Migraines Quiz

    Botox For Migraine: What To Expect

    This post may contain affiliate links. Migraine Strong, as an Amazon Affiliate, makes a small percentage from qualified sales made through affiliate links at no cost to you.

    People generally get excited when they hear I get Botox for migraine and ask a lot of questions. After all, it does make my forehead look smooth. However, the excitement usually wears off after I explain that I first had to trial and fail a multitude of preventive medications, that Ive had daily migraine attacks for years before I started the Botox treatment, and that despite my Botox treatment I still have migraine disease and experience some attacks. Sadly, there is no cure for migraine. Nevertheless, everyone wants to know about this topic: botox for migraine- what to expect.

    However, for those of us living with migraine, Botox is something to be excited about. It is an approved and effective preventive treatment for migraine which can help us manage our migraine disease and improve our quality of life. It has definitely done that for me.

    While Migraine Strong writes about the latest in migraine treatments, this is not medical advice. We are patient educators and all information you read should be discussed with your doctor.

    Is Botox Right For Treating My Migraine Attacks

    ABC Channel 7 News Botox for Migraines

    If youre thinking about Botox treatment for your migraine attacks, here are some questions you might consider and talk with your doctor about:

    • Are your migraine attacks chronic? Chronic migraine is defined as taking place 15 days , on average, out of every month. If your migraine attacks arent chronic, its unclear whether Botox would be helpful for you.
    • Are you okay with multiple treatments? Botox might not be effective to treat migraine after your first treatment, and even when it works, it isnt permanent. Youll need to plan to get regular Botox treatments every 3 months if Botox becomes your long-term treatment plan.
    • Will your insurance cover it? Your insurance may only cover Botox for migraine if you can document that youve already tried other treatments. Even then, you may have a hard time getting approval from some insurance providers. If you dont have insurance, Botox can become costly, especially when you add up the cost of multiple treatments.

    Don’t Miss: How To Get A Migraine

    What Information Should People Know About Before Undergoing Botox

    Do keep in mind that the Botox injections for headaches come with a boxed warning. Talk with your doctor if any of the symptoms like muscle weakness above persist for longer than a few weeks. For example, droopy eyelids can cause vision problems for a short while, but the Botulinum toxin effects should go away within a few weeks.

    Although very unlikely, its possible for the toxin in the injection to spread in your body. Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these effects hours to weeks after receiving Botox:

    • Hives
    • Loss of bladder control

    Can I Combine Botox And Cgrp Antibodies My Insurance Company Refuses To Cover Both And My Physician Told Me I Have To Choose One

    CGRP monoclonal antibodies are a new class of treatment for the prevention of migraine. They can be used for Chronic but also Episodic Migraine. Read more here.

    Medically, both treatments could be combined. There are reports that this combination might be effective for some people with Chronic Migraine. To read more about the BOTOX®/CGRP MAB combination see here.


    Recommended Reading: Can You Get A Fever With A Migraine

    Who Qualifies For Treatment

    Dr. Downey says that not everyone who struggles with migraines may be eligible to receive Botox treatments. Botox is only recommended for people who fit the following criteria for chronic migraines:

    • Experience headaches for more than 15 days a month where at least 8 days involve migraines that last at least 4 hours each
    • Struggle with the above for at least 3 months
    • Are at least 18 years old

    Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend you try other medications or treatments before trying Botox.

    Botox For Migraines & Why Theres More To Headaches Than You Think

    Botox Migraine Treatment Is Covered Under Medicare

    Botox for migraines is now an FDA approved treatment for chronic migraines. Does that give you hope? It should. People who suffer from chronic migraines feel like they are driving without a steering wheel. They feel out of control. Their life can become consumed with anxiety for their next bout with migraine pain. That feeling is not only incredibly frustrating. Its disappointing.

    Here are the hard facts: A 2015 study showed that the prevalence of chronic migraines was nearly 1%. Migraine sufferers were more commonly female, in mid-life, and in households with the lowest annual income.

    In this article, well discuss how does botox for migraines work, what to expect, how much botox for migraines costs, and why theres often more to treating migraines or headaches than just botox or any medication for that matter. Lets talk about migraines, possible solutions, and getting you the relief you deserve.

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    Ongoing Evidence To Support Botox

    Further prospective and retrospective studies support the results of the PREEMPT study. The COMPEL study, which began in 2011, included 716 patients with an average of 22 headache days per month. The participants received 155 units of Botox at the 31 injection sites from the established migraine protocol every 12 weeks for 2 years. Just over half the participants completed the study and by weeks 60 and 108, there was a significant reduction in headache days reported.

    In 2019, researchers reviewed the data from 211 patients who received Botox at 7 private neurology practices in Australia. The study found 74% of patients benefitted from Botox treatments, including reduced headache days and a decrease in the number of days they used acute pain medication.


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