Sunday, October 24, 2010

To Botox or Not

I just saw this NY Times article about the recent FDA approval of Botox for chronic migraine (15 a months or more) prevention. Obviously this is a good first step towards insurance coverage for those of us suffering with chronic migraines who want to try it but can't afford the high price tag.

I'm concerned about it though. Anecdotally I feel like I've read other blog posts of migrainistas who have tried it with negative or no effect. It also seems like the research I've heard about doesn't really show that this is an effective preventative. My physician has talked about it several times. She really wants me to try it but it is far too expensive for me to consider. Somehow, it feels like a really expensive gamble with the odds stacked up against me.

Is it me? Have you-all had, heard about, or read studies of positive experiences with Botox?

I do feel like I would try it, out of sheer desperation for relief, if my insurance company decided to cover the cost.


  1. For my type of headache it would be iffy, so I decided against it. Of course docs are all for it - think how much money they make from a bunch of shots (sorry - just a little cynical!).

    My headache doc said for some people Botox stops the offending nerves from sending out an ezyme signal that starts the migraine cascade. I don't know how you would know if it would help without trying it.

    I am leery of an injection in my body that can affect it for three months because I have so many allergic reactions anymore.

  2. There is research data showing that it's effective for some people with chronic Migraine, but not for episodic (fewer than 15 a month) Migraine. Everything I've read shows it to be as effective for chronic Migraine as other preventives. Of course, nothing works for everyone.

  3. If your insurance covers it...GO FOR IT! I LOVE it! doesn't have much effect on my pain level, it helps with the muscle spasms and leaves my face smooth and wrinkle free. The only downside I have had was in the beginning when I wasn't used to it, I had terrible weakness in my neck. Had difficulty holding it upright. But over time, that feeling subsided and the neuro decreased the amount in my neck.

  4. You guys are so right - there is no way to know if it is effective for me until I try it. Looking forward to seeing my doc next week so we can talk about this.
    Jessica, I'm so happy to hear that it has helped you. Do you find that you don't need it as much as time passes?

  5. No...honestly, I can tell when it's wearing off. But I have had it so many times that my old neuro started saying I was building a tolerance to it...and my new neuro doesn't do it for migraine...although now that it was just FDA approved, maybe he will! I'm still not sure it was really effective pain wise...but I still say go for it!!!