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Botox Shown to be Effective for Migraines

Study says botulinum toxin reduces chronic migraine attacks compared to placebo

A growing body of evidence supports the effectiveness of botulinum toxin injections in reducing the frequency of chronic migraine headaches, concludes a study in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Based on the analysis of clinical trial data, botulinum toxin is superior to an inactive placebo for the preventive treatment of migraines, reports Benoit Chaput, MD of University Hospital Rangueil, Toulouse, France, and colleagues. “Botulinum toxin is a safe and well-tolerated treatment that should be proposed to patients with migraine,” the researchers write.

Evidence supports botox effectiveness for chronic migraine

The researchers identified and analyzed data from 17 previous randomized trials comparing botulinum toxin with placebo for preventive treatment of migraine headaches. Botulinum toxin was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of chronic migraine in 2010. Since then, a growing number of patients have reported successful results with botox injections to alleviate chronic migraine headaches.

The studies included nearly 3,650 patients, about 1,550 of whom had chronic migraine. The remaining patients had less-frequent episodic migraine headaches. Botulinum toxin injections were shown to significantly reduce the frequency of chronic migraine attacks. Three months after injection, patients treated with botox had fewer migraine attacks per month compared to those treated with the placebo.

The improvement was apparent within 2 months of botulinum toxin treatment. To sustain the effects of treatment, botulinum toxin injections are typically repeated every 3 months.

The results strongly support the effectiveness of botulinum toxin injection as preventive treatment for chronic migraine, with significant reductions in headache frequency at both two and three months. “For the first time, our analysis highlights the significant improvement in patients’ quality of life at 3 months in the Botox group, which exhibited few and mild adverse events,” said the researchers.

Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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