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Expert Migraine Advice
Botox is used as a treatment for chronic migraine in the UK. Botox (botulinum toxin type A) is a type of nerve toxin that paralyses muscles. It comes from a bacterium known as Clostridium botulinum. It was discovered as effective for people with chronic migraine while being used for cosmetics treatment. It was found that people who had Botox experienced fewer headaches.
Botox is approved for use on the NHS for the treatment of chronic migraine in adults. Chronic migraine is defined as having at least 15 headache days a month, with at least eight of those featuring migraine symptoms. It is not an effective treatment for other types of headaches including episodic migraine (headache on fewer than 15 days a month), tension-type headache and cluster headache. Botulinum toxin is used to treat other conditions such as hemifacial spasm, cervical dystonia, cerebral palsy, bladder pain, lower back pain, neuropathic pain and stroke.
In England and Wales, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends the use of
Botox for people with chronic migraine who:
• have failed at least three preventive treatments
• have been appropriately managed for medication overuse headache
In Scotland, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) approved Botox for chronic migraine where people have failed to respond to three oral preventive treatments and any medication overuse has been appropriately managed. In Northern Ireland, the Department of Health endorsed the NICE appraisal approving Botox for chronic migraine in 2012.
Frequentley asked Questions
It’s not clear why Botox is effective in migraine. However, doctors think it works by blocking chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from within your brain.
Botox aims to reduce how often you have migraine attacks and how severe they are.
Most people have at least two treatment cycles before deciding if Botox is effective. A good response to Botoxis usually a 30-50% reduction in how many headaches you have. Doctors will also consider any improvements in your quality of life. Some people notice an improvement in their quality of life with Botox even if they don’t have a big reduction in headache days.
The guidelines recommend Botox is given as a series of between 31 and 39 small injections. These are given under the skin or into the muscles in and around the head of the forehead, above the ears, and into the neck. The person doing your treatment will have been trained to provide Botox for chronic migraine.
Injections are given every 12 weeks. Botox is usually given until your migraine has changed to episodic migraine for three months in a row, or that there is significant improvement in disability using quality of life questionnaires. If Botox doesn’t improve your migraine enough it may be stopped.
Generally, Botox is well-tolerated. The most common side effects include neck pain, muscular weakness and drooping of the eyelid. These side effects are temporary because the treatment wears off over time.
Botox is only available on the NHS for people with chronic migraine who have tried at least three other preventive treatments. At Harley Street Injectables we can treat you for migrfaines using Botox privately.
If you think you are eligible for Botox and would like to considered for treatment you can ask for a referral to a specialist. The specialist will assess your history and symptoms to make sure Botox is an appropriate treatment option for you. You should be asked to keep a headache diary to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment.
If Botox doesn’t work for you or stops working your specialist will discuss other treatment options with you.
It’s a simple, 10-minute treatment for moderate to severe frown lines between the brows that consist of a few tiny injections.
The doctor or nurse will remove any makeup and wash the areas that you will have injected. Once seated upright, your practitioner will have you contract the muscle in the area being treated so she can better target the injection into the muscle. For example, you will be asked to frown if you’re receiving injections for wrinkles between the eyes. A series of tiny injections will follow for each treatment area.
Your Botox appointment will take about a half hour from start to finish, depending on the number of areas being treated. As soon as the series of injections is completed, you can go back to your regular activities. Your practitioner will ask you to refrain from bending or laying down for approximately six hours.
Anesthesia is not required and most patients experience only minimal and brief discomfort. Your provider may choose to numb the area with a cold pack or anesthetic cream prior to injecting.
Side effects are minimal and typically relate to the local injection. Soreness or mild bruising, while uncommon, may occur around the injection site. Makeup may be worn after treatment if applied by the doctor or nurse with our special post procedure makeup, but care should be taken to avoid pressing or massaging the area for several hours. In rare instances, patients may develop temporary weakness of the neighbouring muscles, a temporary droopy brow or eyelid, or a headache. This is why it is so important to see a trained medical professional like the staff at Harley Street Injectables.
You should start to see a visible improvement in the treated areas within a week. The area may continue to improve for up to two weeks.
When administered properly, the effects of your Botox Cosmetic treatment can last up to 3 months. If you do not continue treatments, your wrinkles will gradually look like they did before treatment.
After treatment with Botox Cosmetic, you may look in the mirror and see a marked improvement in the moderate to severe frown lines between your brows and around your eyes. But Botox Cosmetic will not radically change your facial appearance. You can still frown or look surprised—without the wrinkles and creases between your brows. It is true that anyone with a medical license can administer Botox Cosmetic. But it is very important, for your safety and your positive cosmetic results, that you choose a provider who has studied the skin, its muscles, its nerves, and every tiny nuance about how it works for their entire career.
Why Harley Street injectables
• Our highly trained and certified London Doctors and nurses perform over 5000+ Botox treatments annually.
• We tailor the injection approach to suit your aesthetic goals.
• Our London nurses and Doctors use the latest techniques such as the brow lift method, and continually stay up to date with current trends.
• We have a thorough understanding of the muscle anatomy to avoid unforeseen sided effects.
• The products we use are of the highest quality and are genuine Allergan.