Botox Injections Against Migraine?

I don’t think so. 31 Botox shots at once is too frightening for me.

For many years now I have been suffering from chronic migraine, with at least 15 days a month of debilitating, throbbing or pulsing headaches, paired with a very unpleasant feeling of nausea.

The numerous neurologists I have seen and the variety of treatments I’ve tried over the years haven’t brought me any closer to finding relief.

For a long time I took over-the-counter pain killers, which helped in the beginning but gradually not only did they become ineffective, but I developed MOH – medication overuse headache . I took about 40 pain pills a month – mainly a combination of paracetamol/acetaminophen combined with caffeine and codeine. Until a blood test showed that one of my liver values wasn’t ok. I had to cut down drastically on pain killers.

I tried preventive treatments, such as Amitriptyline, an anti-depressant also used for the prevention of migraines and Topiramate, a medication for epilepsy (seizures) and prevention of migraines. I had  several acupuncture sessions and even gave homeopathy a chance. I changed my eating habits and stopped consuming certain foods that are said to be migraine triggers. Nothing helped. I had a CT scan done – no anomalies found in my head.

The only medicine that helps me quiet down a migraine attack and even makes it go away is a triptan drug. But not more than 10 triptans should be taken in one month and I have much more than 10 migraine days a month.

I recently went to see a neurologist specializing in Botox treatment for migraines (in one of the bigger hospitals in Israel). After questioning me about my migraine history and about what treatments I had tried, he told me that my (national) health insurance might not consent to funding the Botox treatment, since I have not tried and failed to respond to all  available preventive meds. He mentioned two drugs, one an initially psychiatric medicine and the other a treatment for high blood pressure, which none of the specialists I have seen so far recommended to me. And he explained the procedure with Botox: 31 injections are given into different places on the forehead, the side of the head, the back of the neck and the upper shoulders.

Quite quickly my gut told me that this treatment is not for me. After all, Botox is a toxin and CAN be dangerous in such quantities. Here is more information on the topic if you are interested:

So what am I going to do about my migraines?

Three things: 1. I decided to get a couple of Botox shots to reduce the wrinkles on my forehead, and I already have an appointment with an aesthetic dermatologist. My secret hope is that these few injections will have the side effect of reducing my headaches at least a little bit. Because this is, in fact, how the migraine-reducing effect of Botox was discovered.

2. I am going to get another appointment with a neurologist to check out ALL the (medication) treatment options.

3. One of my colleagues at work is a hydrotherapist in her second profession. She recently specialized in migraine treatment and needs a person to practice on. Me! Hydrotherapy consists of slow, supervised exercises in a warm-water pool and is known to help in cases of physical and emotional conditions such as recovery after an accident, back pain, other types of pain, arthritis, rheumatic problems, anxiety etc. As soon as my colleague and I find a time that suits us both we will get started.

I’ll keep you updated. ♥ ♥ ♥

Important: Above content is based on my personal experience and thoughts and is in no way to be seen as medical advice or recommendation. What is suitable for me may be hazardous for someone else. If you have a problem go see a professional.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s