This article is a continuation of a previous article; Headache Treatment Hope. Part 3: How Migraines Affect Well-Being that investigated the impact of chronic headaches and migraine headaches on overall wellness. The specific areas of treatment for Botox® injection is detailed below.
Botox® is injected in 7 key areas of the migraine-affected muscle groups in head and neck. The recommended dose for injection depends on the location and severity of the condition, ranging from as low as 25 units for specific sites to around 155-195 units. It takes minimum 3 sittings or 2 to 3 weeks to produce noticeable results. The effects from the injections will often last up to 3 months. The severity of the condition and tolerance capacity of an individual affects the effectiveness of treatment. In some cases, symptoms noticeably abate after the first treatment. In most cases, by tenth treatment, the pain is reduced to a dull throbbing and the pain eventually fades away with time. Call Georgian Dental® to arrange a consultation regarding how many units of treatment and frequency would be best suited for your specific needs.
Why did health authorities approve Botox as a treatment for migraine headaches?
Health experts discovered Botox treatment accidently when a few seniors who received Botox for wrinkles reported that it wasn’t just wrinkles but the headaches that vanished as well. Until then, the doctors knew that Botox could treat wrinkles but the discovery invoked curiosity in different research groups.
Both Health Canada and FDA approved Botox treatment, based on the results of individual studies conducted by the research group of Europe and North America. These results were published in Cephalalgia (March 2010 issue). The findings revealed that people who were treated with Botox experienced a significant decrease in severity and frequency of migraine pain. They conducted the PREEMPT trials to confirm the results.
After studying the relationship between the severity of migraine and its duration, another group of researchers at University of Granada discovered the aforementioned ‘trigger points’ namely the neck and pericranial muscles where Botox injections can effectively get rid of the pain.
What do the PREEMPT findings suggest?
In the two PREEMPT (Phase 3 Research Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy) trials conducted by the European and North American groups, 1,384 patients with chronic migraine were selected for this study. These patients, on average, suffered from moderate to severe headaches for at least 18 to 20 days.
The patients received fixed doses (155 to 195 units) of Botox on fixed sites for 56 weeks. After six months, which is equivalent to two cycles of Botox treatment, the patients who were injected with the drug experienced fewer headaches by eight days.
Continuous application for a year reduced the patients’ frequency of headaches by 50%. A few patients reported certain side effects. The following side effects were noted in the patients:
- Neck pain (6.7%)
- Drooping eyelid (3.3%)
- Muscular weakness (5.5%)
However, there were no serious or irreversible side effects during the trial. This led the scientists to conclude that Botox treatment is effective and safe for migraine patients.
At present, the scientists have restricted Botox administration to the identified trigger points only. Nevertheless, with time, different countries will appoint more specialists with appropriate training to diagnose and manage chronic migraine. Following the footsteps of FDA, Health Canada approved Botox for treatment in 2011. Lastly, the researchers are still exploring the benefits of Botox for different diseases and the associated side effects. More scientists are now exploring ways on how to prevent Botox treatment from causing any potential harm to the patients.
The Dental Professionals at Georgian Dental® can help you experience a different approach to whole body health, starting with holistic dental care. Call to reserve your consultation with Barrie Dentists and Orillia Dentists Dr. Tan, Dr. Bot and Dr. Ng. Call Georgian Dental® Orillia at (705)242-5103 or Georgian Dental® Barrie at (705)739-6725, and we will help you Get Your Smile In Style!®