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Is Botox For Migraines The Same As Cosmetic Botox

Considering Botox For Migraine Prevention See What The Evidence Says And Learn How To Test It Effectively To Avoid Costly Mistakes

Botox’s effect on migraines was discovered coincidentally when people who were having Botox injections to lessen lines and wrinkles in their foreheads noticed that their headaches were improved. That’s when ‘off-label’ uses of Botox began, and its manufacturer began pursuing FDA approval and insurance reimbursement for medical uses.

Dubbed as the “little neurotoxin that could,” by USA Today, Botox now boasts sales of well over $1 billion for its manufacturer, Allergan. Many of us who start to see our Migraine-furrowed forehead lines show up in our 30s think: hey, maybe Botox for Migraine could help me too.

But before you say “heck yes!” at the next Botox party or med-spa, be sure you know what you’re getting into.

Now widely used for over a dozen different conditions, from teeth-grinding to sweaty palms to spasticity to vaginal spasms, Botox is a mega-drug. And to think that not so long ago botulinum toxin meant a bulging can of poison. It’s now deemed quite safe in the hands of a medical professional, and about half of all uses are cosmetic.

In This Series We Explore Cosmetic Procedures That Can Help Us Look Refreshed As We Get Back To A Near Normal

The pandemic has been full of challenges and while that toll is felt mentally, it can also manifest physically. Many of us have struggled to maintain our regular routines, while navigating the shifting circumstances influenced by public health guidelines. At this point, it seems like frown and worry lines have become permanent fixtures on our faces .

But we know that when we look good, we do feel better. So we caught up with dermatologist, Dr. Marcie Ulmer from Vancouver’s Pacific Derm to discuss some popular anti-aging treatments and how to achieve the best results after this taxing year and a half.

Whether you’re looking to improve fine lines, wrinkles or volume loss, there really is a solution to address every concern.If you’re interested in more smooth, relaxed skin, and a refresh, here’s everything you need to know about Botox and other neuromodulators…

BCL: What is Botox and what are the benefits?

Dr. Ulmer: Botox is one of the brand names of available neuromodulators and is one of the most popular non-surgical aesthetic treatments performed worldwide. As the focus of numerous clinical trials and continuous research over the past two decades, Botox has established an excellent safety record, accompanied by a high degree of patient satisfaction.

BCL: What specific areas can be treated to improve what? And where do you typically see the best results?

When expertly injected Botox can help balance asymmetries and subtly enhance certain specific facial features.

What Is Botox Used For A List Of Both Medical And Cosmetic Uses And How To Know If It Is Right For You

When you think of Botox, you may think about those wrinkles on your forehead or the crow’s feet around your eyes. 

Most people do. 

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, with over 7 million injections in 2018, Botox is the #1 minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure in the United States.

But Botox is also used in a wide variety of medical treatments.

In this guide, we will review common cosmetic and medical purposes for Botox and provide you with resources to help you determine if Botox is right for you.

You Can Technically Get Botox For Migraine And For Cosmetic Reasons At The Same Time

This is where it gets a little murky, and opinions vary depending on who you ask. The manufacturer of Botox recommends not exceeding 400 units in a three-month span. Since your neurologist will administer 155 units, technically you have wiggle room if you want to visit an esthetician for Botox, too. However, this can be problematic.

“There is a theoretical risk of developing antibodies to Botox if it’s given more frequently,” explains Dr. Donnelly. If you’d like to do both, it’s best to check with your provider before booking an appointment with your esthetician.

Overall, if you’re finding yourself planning your life around your migraines, you may want to make it a point to chat with your doctor about using this multitasking drug to reduce the frequency of the attacks. I know doing so has drastically changed my life-and it might help you, too.

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Category: What Is The Difference Between Botox Cosmetic And Botox Therapeutic

Everything you ever wanted to know about Botox, explained ...

Botulinum toxin is derived from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. In humans, it acts as a neurotoxin, effectively blocking the transmission of neurological signals between the brain and any muscle in which the toxin is injected.

There are eight types of botulinum toxin, types A through H, and two of those types – A and B – are sold commercially and medically for use in humans. The most well-known and popular commercially available botulinum toxin product is Botox, which contains botulinum toxin type A. Other botulinum toxin type A products include Dysport and XeominBotulinum toxin type B is available as Myobloc.

Mayo Clinic Q And A: Botox A Treatment For Chronic Migraines But Not A Cure

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Is it safe to use Botox injections to treat chronic headache? How does it work, and would I need to have regular treatments? Do patients who use Botox as treatment need to be on other headache medication, too?

ANSWER: Onabotulinum toxin A, or Botox, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for chronic migraine headaches. It is not a cure. People who receive Botox for headaches usually get the treatment about every three months. For some, that is all they need to keep their headaches under control. For others, additional medication or other headache treatment is necessary.

Botox is a medication that uses a form of botulinum toxin to paralyze muscle activity temporarily. Best known for its ability to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, Botox also has been shown to help prevent chronic migraine headaches in some people. It’s used mainly for those who have headaches more than 15 days a month.

Since 2002, doctors at Mayo Clinic have treated thousands of patients with chronic migraine effectively and safely using Botox. The medication typically is injected into muscles of the forehead, scalp, neck and shoulders.

The specific details of how Botox works to prevent headaches are not known. But, it’s likely that the injected Botox is taken up by pain receptors in the muscles’ nerves. The medication then deactivates those pain receptors and blocks pain signals that the nerves send to the brain.


It’s A Little Different Than The Botox You Receive From Your Esthetician

Though the same drug is used for both migraine prevention and cosmetic purposes, the amount and placement of Botox varies depending on your goals.

You may find some level of relief when you get Botox for cosmetic purposes. However, when you receive Botox from an esthetician, you’re not getting injections in the same spots as you would in a doctor’s office. This means you’ll miss the drug’s full migraine-busting effect.

Is The Process Different Between Botox Cosmetic And Botox Therapeutic

Receiving both Botox Cosmetic and Botox Therapeutic are very similar:

  • Your Hingham cosmetic dentist will conduct a comprehensive exam with you to determine your needs and budget.
  • Then, they will inject the Botox in the appropriate areas.
  • You will start seeing results within 2-10 days.
  • Every three months, you can come back to maintain your treatment plan with new Botox injections.


Therapeutic Botox requires a more in-depth examination of your head and neck to understand the reason for your pain.

This exam gives your dentist the chance to identify the muscles that are tense and causing your chronic pain. At South Shore Prosthodontics, we may recommend a home sleep test to evaluate your sleep performance and how your muscles move while sleeping.

This is all part of our comprehensive exam to create the appropriate plan to get you out of pain.

Where Does Botox Fit Relative To Other Treatments To Prevent Migraine

A comprehensive migraine management plan consists of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding migraine triggers as much as possible, and using over-the-counter and prescription abortive medications , as needed.

In chronic migraine, standard treatments, including daily prescription preventive medications alone or in combination, are usually tried before Botox. A disadvantage of Botox is that it must be administered through injection by a medical provider every three months in order to maintain the effect. In addition, those on Botox may need to continue taking their previous prescription migraine medications for optimal results.

Nonetheless, Botox has become a common treatment in headache centers in the US. Botox injections are well-tolerated, beneficial, and appear to be safe for long-term management of chronic migraine.

What Should You Expect On The Day You Are Getting A Botox Injection

Just before the injection is administered, you may be given some form of anesthetic. After that, the Botox will be injected into your body. The Botox can be injected either into your skin or into your muscles. The location of the injection will depend on the reason behind why you are getting Botox in the first place.

Do not be surprised as well if more than one injection takes place, especially if the Botox is being used to treat a larger part of your body.

Once the procedure is done, you can go right back into your normal routine, but do avoid rubbing the area where the Botox was administered for at least 24 hours.

You can also monitor yourself for any possible side effects just to be on the safe side.

How Many Units Of Botox Do I Need What Is The Cost Of The Procedure

It is impossible to say without a consultation with one of our staff. We encourage anyone interested and ready for treatment to book an appointment with our office. Initial consult to discuss your medical condition is OHIP covered with a valid health card . Actual injections are not covered and a $250 injection fee applies PLUS the cost of the Botox Medication. Please call our office to inquire further as to the process. Often the cost of the Botox itself will be covered in part by third party medical insurance, however, this will not cover the injection fee our office charges. 


Why Might I Need Botulinum Toxin Injections For Migraine Treatment

Botulinum toxin treatments have been proved effective in clinical trials, and are one way to treat chronic migraines. Other medications, and lifestyle changes, might be recommended. If your doctor determines that you have chronic migraines, you might be a candidate for this treatment.

Sashank Reddy says, “Botulinum toxin injectables are part of a comprehensive suite of options that neurologists and headache specialists have for treatment of chronic migraines. While no single option is best for all cases, an approach that includes several different treatments can often reduce headache frequency and severity.”

Answer: What Is The Difference Between Botox And Botox Cosmetic

Aplicação de Toxina Botulínica (Botox) no Tratamento da ...

Both Botox and Botox cosmetic contain botulinum toxin.  The difference is the conditions that they are approved for by the FDA.   Botox cosmetic is approved to treat frown lines.  Botox is approved to treat spastic disorders of the larger muscles of the neck and extremities.  For more information please read below:

What Can I Expect When I Receive Botox Injections For Migraine

Botox injections to prevent headaches in adults with chronic migraine are generally safe, but they may cause some mild side effects. To learn more, see the “Botox side effects” section above. You can also refer to the “Receiving Botox injections” section above and talk with your doctor.

Botox is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent headaches in adults with chronic migraine.

Botox For Migraines: Side Effects Injection Sites Cost And Faq

  • Botox is a preventative treatment for chronic migraines.
  • It is suitable for patients who experience 15 or more headache days per month.
  • Most people need a few treatment cycles before they see results.
  • Many insurance companies will help cover the costs of treatment.

Everyone gets a headache every now and then. But for some, headaches are more than an occasional nuisance — they’re a debilitating health condition that has a significant impact on their quality of life.

Chronic migraines affect 1-2% of the population, according to research published in Cephalalgia. Conventional treatments typically include pain relievers, preventative medication, cognitive behavioral therapy and addressing risk factors such as obesity, depression and anxiety.

In addition to these treatments, Botox is also becoming an increasingly popular way of preventing chronic migraine headaches.

Are Cosmetic Botox And Therapeutic Botox Processes Different

Whether you’re receiving cosmetic or therapeutic botox, the process is very similar. 

You’ll be taken through a very comprehensive exam to ensure all your needs are met and your budget covers your treatment, although therapeutic Botox is often covered to some degree by most third party health insurance companies. 

The Botox will be injected into the appropriate area, and you’ll start seeing the results or feeling the therapeutic effects in as little as 2-3 days, but up to 2 weeks for the full result.

With both cosmetic Botox and therapeutic Botox, you’ll have to maintain your treatment every approximately three months  

One of the only differences between the two types of Botox is that with therapeutic Botox, you’ll have to have a medical examination & diagnosis before you are given and written a Botox prescription before the actual procedure can be planned and booked. This is so the examiner can clearly find the origin and reason behind your symptoms, decide if Botox is appropriate for your treatment, and then create a treatment plan that is best for you.

Where Is Botox For Migraines Injected And How Much Is Needed

According to Allergan, 31 Botox injections need to be injected into seven specific areas in the head and neck. Specifically, the trigger points include the temples, forehead, upper back of the head, and even the bridge of the nose.

When applied in the right quantities, the effect lasts for a period of about three months. For maximum results, doctors usually recommend at least two sessions spaced 10-12 weeks apart.

Furthermore, you can watch this video to hear more expert opinions about the process of Botox for migraines.

Trust Your Botox Treatment With South Shore Prosthodontics

As cosmetic dentistsDr. Sam Khayat and Dr. Laura Becerra excel in injecting Botox on a cosmetic and therapeutic level to the entire South Shore, including Hingham, Hanover, and Weymouth.

If you have any questions about Botox or are in pain, please contact us for a comprehensive examination and see if we’re the right Botox providers for you.

After The Treatment What Comes Next How Long Does It Last

Some doctors and dermatologists recommend lying down and resting after a treatment, but Ravitz says she doesn’t think there’s any need for downtime unless a patient experiences pain. It can take about two weeks to work, though some patients start to feel relief from chronic migraines sooner than that. Ravitz tells me, “If it’s going to work for a patient, one round of the treatment typically lasts for around three months.” Though everybody metabolizes it at a different rate, getting it done every three months or so has been found to be effective.

How Botox Can Help Muscle Stiffness Or Movement Disorders

Muscle and movement disorders can be extremely challenging. 

Some of these conditions are of unknown origin, while others are associated with neurological disorders.


Muscle spasticity, for example, is a state of altered muscle performance that is sometimes colloquially referred to as “tightness” or “stiffness” of muscles. 

While there are often unknown causes for spasticity, a common neurological cause is Cerebral Palsy.

Botox injections are often used with success to provide relief of spasticity-related symptoms of Cerebral Palsy. 

These treatments are “off-label,” as they are not FDA-approved.


Dystonia is a movement disorder that presents as repetitive muscle contractions, tremors, and abnormal postures. 

The FDA has approved Botox as a treatment option for cervical dystonia. 

To treat dystonia, Botox inhibits the release of acetylcholine so muscles no longer have the ability to contract.

How Is Botox For Migraines Different From Cosmetic Botox

Botox For Migraine Treatment

The Botox used for migraines and the Botox used for cosmetic procedures is actually exactly the same. “Basically, young and middle-aged women were getting for cosmetic purposes, and that’s the most common person that has migraines, and that’s how they figured out it was helpful,” Ravitz tells me. Women were getting Botox for aesthetic reasons and happened to notice relief from their migraine symptoms, and doctors began looking into it as a direct treatment. In fact, women are disproportionately affected by migraines — about 85 percent of chronic-migraine sufferers are women, and the condition affects 28 million in just the U.S.

The only difference between the two procedures is that with Botox for migraines, they may do a few more shots in areas where the pain is experienced. Personally, I usually get between 30 and 40 shots, concentrated mostly on the right side of my head where the pain occurs, at the base of my skull, and on my neck and shoulders, where I tend to hold tension, as doing so can cause a migraine. Botox for migraines can have the same aesthetic effect that cosmetic Botox has, which kills two birds with one stone for people who may desire that effect. “We do it along wrinkle lines and keep it symmetrical,” says Ravitz, which explains the erasing of lines and temporary plumping of wrinkles.

Answer: Treating Migraine And Wrinkles At The Same Time

Yes, you can have migraine treatment and wrinkles treatment at the same time. In fact there is overlap between treating migraine and wrinkles in injecting the frown lines and forehead wrinkles. If you want to diminish the wrinkles in the crows feet, you should ask your physician if he/she is comfotable including that in the botox injection because those are not included in the migraine headache protocol. You might have to add few more units to the usual 155 units for migraine treament if you would include the crows feet.

What Is The Difference Between Botox And Botox Cosmetic

A doctor told me that he gets charged a certain amount for Botox per unit by allergan and a different amount for Botox Cosmetic. I was very confused because I thought it was the same. I’m looking to have Botox done on my jaw to help with TMJ. What is the difference between the two and which one should I get?

Answer: The Difference Between Botox And Botox Cosmetic

Thank you for question. First, Both Botox and Botox Cosmetic contain botulinum toxin. The only difference between the two are the conditions that are approved for by the FDA. Botox Cosmetic is approved to treat the face such as the frown lines. Botox is approved to treat spastic disorders. I recommend discussing this with your injector. Best of Luck!

How Do Botulinum Toxin Injectables Help Treat Migraines

Researchers are eager to learn how botulinum toxin-based drugs help relieve migraine pain.  Evidence suggests that the drug interrupts the pathway of pain transmission between the brain and nerves that extend from the spinal cord.

When you have a migraine, your body releases substances called neurotransmitters and molecules that are associated with pain. Botulinum toxin interferes with the transmission of these substances, typically where the nerves and muscles meet. Researchers think that when the drug is injected into the muscles around the face, head and neck, it is taken up by the nerves and interferes with pain-associated neurotransmission.

Botox Treatment For Wrinkles May Also Relieve Migraines

University Of California, San Francisco
A treatment commonly used by dermatologists to get rid of facial wrinkles may also help migraine sufferers, a UCSF researcher has reported. In a presentation at the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery meeting , Richard Glogau, MD, UCSF professor of dermatology, reported that 75 percent of patients in his case study experienced four to six months of migraine relief following injections of Botox® to muscles of the face and head.

A treatment commonly used by dermatologists to get rid of facial wrinkles may also help migraine sufferers, a UCSF researcher has reported.

In a presentation at the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery meeting , Richard Glogau, MD, UCSF professor of dermatology, reported that 75 percent of patients in his case study experienced four to six months of migraine relief following injections of Botox® to muscles of the face and head. Glogau’s small study of 24 patients adds weight to previous reports that botulinum toxin A can relieve headaches.

Though the mechanism for migraine relief is not known, Botox® injections paralyze the muscles in the face and head. Botulinum toxin A may stop the expression of pain by stopping muscle contractions that lead to spasm, he explained, or it may inhibit nerves that transfer pain responses to the brain and spinal chord. In all likelihood, it does both, he said.

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What Are The Potential Downsides To Botox For Migraine

Cost – Despite its proven benefits, Botox is relatively expensive. When used cosmetically, the current Botox price in the Denver area varies from $10-$18 per unit, depending upon the services received. In contrast to cosmetic uses of Botox, studies indicate that larger amounts are required for optimal Migraine prevention. With the FDA approval of Botox for the treatment of Chronic Migraine, many more people are able to afford the treatment, when these services are covered by their insurance company. See our current botox pricing.

Cosmetics – Many patients may notice a temporary smoothing of the appearance of moderate to severe facial lines. However, cosmetic benefits are not the primary purpose of Botox treatments when injected for Chronic Migraine. The specific sites injected are designed to achieve the goal of migraine prevention. To achieve optimal cosmetic results, additional and different injections may be required.

While you may be able to combine treatment goals, it must be done correctly. Botox is a powerful biologic toxin – too much Botox at any one time, or too short an interval between Botox injections may result in poor outcomes. Make sure to tell your doctor if you are already receiving cosmetic Botox treatments, and are interested in Botox for both migraine prevention and cosmetic benefits.

Answer: Botox For Wrinkles And Migraines Works For Me

I have been treating myself with Botox for many, many years to prevent ocular migraines.When I get migraines, I get “ocular” migraines. This means I have vision problems, loss of vision, and shooting lights when I get a migraine. I can always tell when the Botox is wearing off because my migraines come back.I treat many patients for migraines with Botox and in most people, it is beneficial.There are different places to inject when treating for migraines, as opposed to treating for wrinkles, but you can kill two birds with one stone.

What Are The Risks Of Using Injectables For Migraines

Botox for Cosmetics/Migraines

Botulinum toxin injectables should be avoided by pregnant women and nursing mothers, as well as people with an allergy to proteins in cow’s milk.

When given by an experienced and qualified health care specialist, botulinum toxin injections are relatively safe. However, some people experience pain, bruising or swelling where the drug was injected. Other possible side effects are:

  • Headache or flulike symptoms
  • Drooping on one eyelid, eyebrow or side of the mouth
  • Drooling

Very rarely, if the toxin accidentally spreads into your body, other, more serious symptoms might occur over the course of hours or days. :

  • Vision problems
  • Inability to control the bladder
  • Difficulty breathing

Is Botox Covered By Insurance When Used For Migraines

If you are receiving Botox treatment for chronic migraine, it is covered under most health insurance plans. This includes Medicare and Medicaid.

Insurance companies can require you to seek out two other preventative treatments for chronic migraine before resorting to Botox. This can be mandatory before seeking out Botox treatment. There are other medications sometimes recommended to help prevent migraines.


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