What is Chronic Migraine?
An estimated 14% of the general population suffer from migraine making it one of the most common debilitating neurological disorders. Migraine costs more than $20 billion each year in the USA and thus represents a heavy socio-economic burden to the society.
Chronic Migraine is 15 or more headache days each month, with migraine on at least 8 of those days, and 4 hours or more of headache per headache day.
If you are currently taking migraine treatment, think back to before you started it. If you previously had 15 or more headache or migraine days a month in any 3-month period, you could still have Chronic Migraine.
BOTOX and Migraine
Research into using BOTOX to treat migraines began in mid-1990s after patients receiving it for other conditions reported improvement in their migraine symptoms. A clinical trial was conducted in patients who averaged 20 headache days a month. They received BOTOX injections every twelve weeks for 56 weeks. At the end of that period, 70% of the patients had fewer than half the number of headaches they had before treatment. The FDA officially approved BOTOX for treating chronic migraines in 2010. Since then, more than 100,000 patients have been treated.
How does BOTOX for migraines work?
BOTOX, or Botulinum Toxin Type A, disrupts the normal function of the neuromuscular junction, blocking the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. Researchers believe that by blocking acetylcholine, BOTOX disrupts pain pathways. Research continues to discover the exact mechanism that makes BOTOX so effective on chronic migraine pain.
Depending on your symptoms, BOTOX may be injected into:
- Both temples
- Back and sides of the neck
- Upper shoulders
- Back of the head
On average, each BOTOX treatment requires 31 injections in seven key areas of the head and neck, though individual patients may require fewer or more. You’ll receive injections every twelve weeks, and each session only takes about 20 minutes. BOTOX begins to work within days it’s injected, and you should see full results in 10-14 days of your first injections. BOTOX is injected using a very fine needle. Most patients describe it as feeling like a tiny pinprick.
Is Botox Right For Me?
If you are an adult with 15 or more headache days per month and other migraine treatments have been unsuccessful, Botox may be right for you.
Will My Insurance Cover Botox Treatments?
Many insurance plans will cover Botox migraine treatments via the prior authorization process. We will work with your insurance provider to get approval to treat your migraines with Botox. Treatments can begin once your insurance provider approves the prior authorization request. Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, also offers a savings card to help reduce any costs that your insurance provider does not cover.