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Botox for Migraine Headache Treatment

Bellevue Seattle Botox Migraine Headache

We’ve already had a blog post about migraine, however this one focuses on a treatment, Botox for migraine, that not everyone with severe chronic migraines has tried yet.

Our Seattle Bellevue office sees a variety of patients with chronic migraines and we understand how hard to treat they can be.

Migraine is a very severe headache, sometimes associated with sensitivity to light and sound and may affect women slightly more than men. No one knows how bad a migraine can be until he or she has one. At our Seattle Bellevue pain management doctor clinic, we would like to be involved in helping chronic migraine patients get relief from this painful head condition.

You might be familiar with Botox and the wrinkle-free foreheads that benefit from it. But did you know that Botox has uses for patients with migraine headaches or other conditions? Chronic migraine headache found a novel treatment in 2010, when the FDA approved Botox use for those suffering without relief from first-line agents. And the data show it’s actually pretty effective for many patients.

Many insurance companies actually cover Botox for migraine for many patients if authorization can be obtained ahead of time. Typically, patients are eligible for Botox for migraine if they have 15 or more headache days a month, 8 of which are migraine type headaches. They need to have tried and failed conservative measures, which might include anti-inflammatory medications or other preventative or rescue medications. 

Prior to initiation of Botox for migraine therapy, it's important to set realistic goals for treatment, as every patient doesn’t benefit from the first session, however by the second treatment, many more patients have received a positive result. A positive result is generally classified as at least 50% reduction or severity of the migraine headaches.

Botox is a purified protein derived from a microorganism and it is used in very tiny amounts. Botox works by preventing the muscles of the head and neck from spasming and then prevents those muscles and nerves from releasing neurochemical mediators that may trigger migraine headache. The medication typically works for about three months and then a subsequent dose is scheduled to be administered.

Botox is approved by the FDA to be used for chronic migraine in adults, ages 18 or older. Some doctors may use Botox off-label, meaning it can be used, but insurance companies may not approve the authorization for coverage.

Before approval is obtained from your insurance company, patients typically must have tried at least two other treatments that may prevent migraine headaches, which include anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin, pregabalin, or topamax, antidepressants, such as amitriptyline or duloxetine, or blood pressure medications, such as propranolol or nifedipine. 

The procedure takes about twenty minutes to complete. Based on FDA approval and studies demonstrating effective treatment, 31 different sites are targeted using a tiny needle, which may feel like a pinprick. Each site receives approximately 5 units of Botox, for a total of 155 units. 

The most common side effect is a sore neck, which can be alleviated by using a cold pack after the procedures. Some patients take up to three treatment sessions to experience long term benefit, which could be around the six month mark. Patients typically continue their other medications until the benefit from the Botox is noted.

If you are interested, please call 425-998-7884 to discuss what we can do for you!

Our partner business, IVFusionMD, provides IV fluid and medication infusions for acute headache treatment. 

Check out IVFusionMD’s Migraine treatment https://www.ivfusionmd.com/services 

or read the post on full offerings https://www.ivfusionmd.com/blog/ivfusionmd-top-quality-infusions-of-vitamins-medications-and-antioxidants

Other patients may be interested in IV ketamine for migraine treatment. https://www.bellevuepainwellness.com/blog/ketamine-therapy-an-alternative-approach-to-block-and-reverse-chronic-pain

If you are in the Seattle Bellevue Redmond Kirkland area and you are interested in seeing if you might qualify for Botox treatment, visit our website at www.bellevuepainwellness.com or send us a message at www.bellevuepainwellness.com/contactus. Otherwise, please call 425-998-7884. 

Feel free to check out a few other notable blog posts about chronic lower back pain and shooting here: 







Robert Bowers MD

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