You may have heard that Botox is being used off-label to treat migraine headaches, but the proof of its effectiveness is more anecdotal than clinical. That doesn’t mean that botulinum toxin type A, which is also available as Dysport, isn’t effective for this purpose-it may boil down to the type of migraine being treated.
Researchers recently attempted to determine which kinds of migraine can benefit most from botulinum toxin type A. They studied 18 patients who would be receiving cosmetic Botox injections, all of whom reported migraines-though different types.
Three months after injections, the patients who described their headaches as crushing and vice-like (imploding) or eye-popping (ocular) experienced an average reduction in frequency from more than seven days per month to less than one day per month. Those who described their headaches as exploding, however, felt little to no change.
“Our results provide support for the hypothesis that patients with migraine that is characterized by imploding and ocular headaches are more responsive to botulinum toxin type A than those with migraine characterized by exploding headaches,” the study authors wrote in the Archives of Dermatology. “Our findings invite consideration of using botulinum toxin type A injections to prevent migraine headaches and may promote the role of the dermatologist [and plastic surgeon] in the treatment of patients with migraine. However, well-controlled trials need to be conducted to confirm these findings.”
Have you tried Botox or Dysport to treat migraine headaches? If not, would you? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
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