Video Q & A:

Prevention 101

Question:

Does Botox prevent migraine?

Expert:   Audrey Halpern, MD, PC, Executive Director, Manhattan Center for Headache & Neurology »

We all know that Botox treats wrinkles, but you might not have realized that it's also FDA-approved for migraine prevention. So is it safe? How much does it cost? Get your answers here!

Transcript: Botox is a drug beloved by men and women who want to look younger than they are. BUT, millions of other people depend on it for another reason entirely: migraine prevention. Neurologists used Botox off-label for YEARS, but it received FDA approval in October 2010 for migraine prevention and most insurance companies now cover the treatment. In some circumstances it is covered by insurance, but without coverage, the injections can cost 1 to 2 thousand dollars per session. BOTOX, technically called botulinum toxin A, is used to treat adults with CHRONIC migraine, which is defined as having headaches at least 15 days per month. During a TYPICAL treatment session—about every 3 months-- a patient will receive multiple injections all over their head, neck, shoulders and forehead. Clinical trials have demonstrated GREAT success. After six months of injections, participants had, on average, 7.8 fewer headache days compared to 6.4 headache days in the group that received placebo injections. Doctors aren’t completely sure HOW Botox prevents migraine attacks, but one theory is that it prevents pain signals from reaching the nerve endings. Remember that the FDA hasn’t approved Botox shots for SPORADIC headaches, only for the RECURRING ones. More »

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