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Botox for migraines

April 25, 2012 6:41:38 PM PDT
Botox is the drug that helps prevent facial wrinkles, but it also helps with migraines. A new study in the journal of the American Medical Association finds that though the drug provides headache relief, that it may not be as effective as originally thought.

Botox was first proposed as a headache treatment when doctors noticed that patients who experienced chronic headaches who got cosmetic botox treatments also found relief for their headaches. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for the treatment of chronic migraines.

The new research found that Botox provides modest benefits for those suffering from chronic migraines - meaning 15 or more a month. The drug does not appear to help those who suffer from less frequent migraines, however, or those with tension headaches.

Scientists reviewed more than 25 studies and found that Botox was associated with approximately 2 to 3 fewer headaches per month among patients with chronic migraines. Botox is not the standard treatment for migraines but the study authors suggest that it can provide relief to patients who experience bad side effects from regular headache medications.

Allergan, the maker of Botox, issues this statement about the study: "This data set demonstrates important and tangible benefits to adult chronic migraine patients who are treated with Botox."


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