Who is a Candidate for Botox Injections?
BOTOX is approved for use in adults with chronic migraines. This means that patients must suffer from 15 or more headache days each month, with each headache lasting a minimum of four hours in order to qualify. BOTOX is not an approved treatment for adults with 14 or fewer headache days each month.
During the procedure itself, BOTOX will be injected into seven key areas of the head and neck for a total of 31 injections. The FDA recommends doses comprised of 155 units for each BOTOX treatment session. Keep in mind that it may take several weeks to see a change, depending on the severity and frequency of your migraines.
The needles we use are small, but you may still experience some mild discomfort. Most patients compare it to tiny pinpricks, nothing near the pain you’d feel during a migraine. In clinical trials including BOTOX and a placebo injection, BOTOX was proven to reduce headache days each month after just two treatments.
In order to track your progress and determine how many injections you’ll need to see optimal results, you’ll be given a headache diary to fill out for the three months following your first injection. We kindly request that you bring this diary with you to your next injection appointment so that we don’t have to reschedule.
In chronic migraine clinical studies, the most common side effect that patients experienced was neck pain. This was experienced by 9% of BOTOX patients and 3% of placebo patients. Other mild side effects may include:
· Dry mouth
· Discomfort or pain at the injection site
· Neck pain
· Eye problems (double or blurred vision, decreased eyesight, drooping or swelling eyelids, and dry eyes)
The best way to avoid complications is to follow your doctor’s instructions and avoid lying on your stomach, rubbing your face, drinking alcohol, or exercising for the first six hours after each injection.
Please call our office if you have difficulty swallowing, speaking, or breathing. These side effects can be severe or life-threatening and should not be ignored. They can be the result of weakening associated muscles, and patients with similar pre-existing issues are at a higher risk. Difficulty swallowing is one side effect that may last for several months.
Please call our office if you experience any of these other potential side effects:
· Loss of strength or muscle weakness
· Double or blurred vision
· Drooping eyelids
· Hoarseness, loss of voice, or another voice change
· Trouble speaking words clearly
· Loss of bladder control
These may be caused by the spread of the botulinum toxin away from the injection site. Following all instructions for a healthy and safe recovery can help reduce the likelihood of this occurring. If you experience these side effects, don’t drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or perform any other potentially dangerous activities. Call our office and speak to a professional.
Your follow-up visit will be scheduled for about six to eight weeks after your second injection. This will give us the time we need to thoroughly assess the efficacy of the therapy, track the severity and frequency of your migraines, and put together the most effective and efficient plan moving forward.