Botox for Chronic Migraines

I've suffered with chronic migraines for the past...

I've suffered with chronic migraines for the past 35 years, and I've taken all of the following medicines:

Divalproex ER 250MG, Oxycodone 5MG, Abilify, Topamax, Cafergot, Prozac, Depakote, Atenolol, Sumatriptan, Migranal Spray, and so many others that I can't even remember the names of them.

The Sumatriptan and the Migranal Spray work some of the time, but they both have side effects and have expensive med co-pays.

Tomorrow, I'm going to get Botox from a neurologist to see if it will help. The only thing that I'm really concerned about is that they injected it where they want it and not where you want it, as a dermatologists does. However, my headaches are so excruciating that I guess it will be OK, if it works. I'll let you know if I look weird and if it helps at all.

The neurologist will be injecting the Botox with about 30 shots in my face, temples, and neck. Luckily, my insurance will cover it because I have extensive, medical documentation records regarding all of the medicines that have failed to provide me with any relief. I've attach a drawing that is similar to where the doctor will be placing the injections.

That is great that your insurance is going to cover this for you. Please do keep us informed if it helps, and what you experience with it. Migraines run in my family, so I will be very curious to hear.


I got the Botox injections done yesterday, and it...

I got the Botox injections done yesterday, and it only hurt a little bit. The pain is nothing compared to a migraine headache. The doctor told me not to lower my head for four hours, so no reading books, but using a computer was OK.

The doctor gave me an Rx for some pain cream, but I didn't have to fill it since the pain was only in a few spots and went away in about an hour.

The whole procedure only took about 1/2 hour once she started with the shots. It took the doctor more time to mix the medication before we started. She used five syringes, two giant ones with large needles, and three small ones with tiny needles. The large syringes were used for the back of my head and sides of my neck. The smaller ones were used for my forehead and temples. She started with the face injections firsts, then the temples, and did the back of my head and neck last.

I only have one small bruise on my face by my hair line, which can easily be covered with makeup. No pain anymore at all, and I don't see or notice any difference in the way my skin looks or moves.

The doctor said that it takes about one week for the shots to kick in, and that most people don't see any reductions in the amount of migraines they get until the second secession of shots, which are given in three months. I have a followup appointment in two months, and then a month after that I'll get the second set of shots.

I'll let you know in a week if any of my wrinkles smooth out since I know this Web site is really for beauty tips. I'm 52, so if they do, that it would be an extra plus, but I really, really want to get some relieve from my migraines.

The reason I decided to post here is because there are really no other sites that have honest user reviews about Botox, like the Real Self does. There are also no posts from people that have actually had Botox for migraines on this site, and all you can find on the Internet are articles about the procedure and some small, trial sample results.

I read all of the Botox posts here before my procedure, and I was thinking....I'm not going to do that, but once I got another terrible migraine, it didn't matter anymore.
Hi Megan,

It's only been three days since I've had my injections, but I don't have any facial or neck pain from the shots. I'm still getting migraines, which is what is to be expected at this early stage.

I don't have the droopy eyelids, so far, as so many of the others on this site have mentioned. In the morning my eyelids do feel a little heavier, but I just splash cold water on them and that seems to work.

I'll update the post at the end of the week when the Botox is supposed to have fully kicked in.

I really appreciate the links to the other users on this site that have tried Botox for their migraines. I'm going to be following them and their progress.

I'll be very happy if this treatment works since I would like to discontinue taking the two medicines that I'm now taking for my migraines. The Sumatriptan and the Migranal Spray, both have unpleasant side effects, and my insurance plan only covers nine Sumatriptan pills a month, which in never enough. The Migranal Spray has an Rx co-pay of $100. My insurance picks up $1,000+ of the total cost. It really is appalling that medicines can be so expensive.

Megan, RealSelf is the best site on the Internet that I've found for information on Botox, and I've checked out many sites. Some of the sites, I think the posts are from Trolls that are just trying to get reactions. I went to one site, about Bad Botox, and everyone on the blog seemed to feel that they were getting mental illness from their Botox injections. Pretty weird...

Thank you for letting me share my progress with your readers.

How are you feeling today? I know it is really soon after your injections, but would be curious to hear if you can tell any difference yet.

Also, since you had mentioned an interest in other reviews about Botox use for migraines I dug up a couple for you:

Younger Looking & No More Migraines

Botox for Migraines Didn't Help Hurt Me

Botox Treatment for Migraines

I'm glad you are adding such a detailed account to the community. I know this will be very helpful for others considering trying this treatment.


It's been one week since I got my Botox...

It's been one week since I got my Botox injections, and, so far, no change in the frequency or durations of my migraines.

I'm very happy with my appearance, though. I look about seven years younger, and I don't have any droopy eyelids, mannequin face, or a giant forehead like the Martians in the movie "Mars Attacks."

The best outcome so far is something that I never expected...

I'm also partially deaf, due to a virus I got five years ago, and to make a long story short, I now have only 20% hearing in my left ear and 80% in my right ear. I wear hearing aids in both ears, and that helps a lot with the hearing loss. However, I also have terrible tinnitus in my left ear, and about three days ago, I noticed that the ringing and high-pitched whining, electric buzzing noises in my left ear have been greatly diminishing. If it stays like this now, a light seashore noise, than that alone will make the injections worth it.

For the past few days, it has been the first time in the past five years that I'm actually able to concentrate on projects, instead of trying to concentrate over constant ringing noises in my left ear. I'm going to mention it to my neurologist when I go to my follow-up appointment in two months. This is one side-effect that I don't mind at all!
Long-term use of Botox has saved me from frequent, agonizing, migraine headaches! I survived a serious head injury (auto accident) that left me deaf in my right ear, fractured my skull in two places and left me with post-tramatic seizures and headaches. I suffered through headaches and my seizures lasted for 5 years then subsided. Frequent headaches were part of my life and I would often end up in the ER getting injections of Imtrex and Flexeril. 12 years after my accident (at the age of 30) I was introduced to Botox for cosmetic purposes. To my pleasant surprise, I noticed less and less headaches. I have regularly (every 4-5 months) received 30-40 units of Botox on my forehead and above my eyes and at the temple to alleviate my migraines. The biggest thing I notice is that once I get to about month 3, my headaches return with a vengeance! I have a Rx for Trexamet which, although it works, it certainly doesn't prevent the horrific headaches from occurring and ruining my day (or my job, etc). The medicine makes me feel tingly and knocks me out for nearly 8 hours after I take a pill. The downside is of course, the cost. I pay $11 per unit to receive my injections from a NP. She does a far superior job to the plastic surgeon and cosmetic surgeons who have injected me in the past. Nurses are always cheaper and tend to give shots regularly (hence their better technique). Surgeons are just that, surgeons, so they have little expertise in just giving shots.
I spend (out of pocket no insurance) about $800-$1000 a year to get these shots and although I have had to go up to 6 months in between because of budgetary constraints, I always return to the shots as soon as I can afford them because there is simply no substitute. I understand insurance companies make you go through all kinds of hoops to get the cost approved (plus I don't get headaches in the back of my head or back of my neck and don't like the idea of getting long needles put into the back of my head just so I can save a couple of hundred dollars). I hope this information is helpful as I don't know anyone (besides myself) who has actually used botox for 12 years and is a chronic migraine sufferer.
This is first site I've checked for Botox treatment for headaches. I had Translabyrinthine surgery to remove benign brain tumor in January 2012. I have had constant head pain ever since. Surgeon says I shouldn't have pain after this type of surgery .... I beg to differ. I am now seeing neurologist and after not getting relief from several preventive meds he is suggesting Botox and says that he has great results. it is now with insurance to get ok'd. I also have some minor paralysis with right eye and right side of mouth. Wonder if Botox would help this. I usually did not take anything for headaches previous to the surgery and it drives me crazy to take meds on a regular basis. But I am also thankful for them when the pain goes to 9-10. Right now Cambia Potassium powders give me relief but can only take them 9x a month. I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences and will share mine. Good Luck To All, Kathy
I just had botox for migraines. My forehead wrinkles are better. I am having headaches still but the type headaches seem to have changed. My right eye is swollen in tbe corner. Calling my Dr tomorrow. I had the shots 9 days ago

It's been about three weeks since I had my first...

It's been about three weeks since I had my first round of Botox shots, and I've changed the rating to "Worth It" because it really is helping me.

I'm still getting headaches, but they are just regular ones and not excruciating migraines. The tinnitus in my left ear is still softer. My forehead wrinkles are less apparent, but on the outer sides where the doctor didn't use any Botox they appear worse because the middle of my forehead is much smoother. I can now see how when one fixes something on their face that they start to focus on something else and want to fix that, too.

I do have a constant stiffness in my upper back at the base of my neck that I'll have to discuss with my doctor, but a couple of Ibuprofen in the morning are all I need. I also have to splash water on my face the first thing when I wake up and use anti-itch eye drops, or my eyebrows seem, to me, to look too high. My husband doesn't notice any difference, so maybe it's just me, but I think it helps. Everyone says that I don't look any different at all.

I'm just so happy that this has helped my migraines so soon, and all the other minor neck and back stiffness is nothing compared to the migraines and tinnitus. The neurologist told me that I probably wouldn't get any relief until the second round of shots, and I'm just ecstatic that it didn't take that long!!!
I love Botox. I just had no idea it could be used for migraines. I used to suffer from horrible, excruciating headaches. But since I gave up milk ( I use Silk milk now) and meat ( I still eat fish and sea products) I had not have one headache in 5 years. I also don't eat fast food anymore
Thank you for your insight. If my insurance didn't pay for the Botox, I wouldn't be able to afford it. The hoops that you have to go through to get them to pay are not worth it. I had to try out at least seven different meds before they would pay, and all of them had terrible side effects. One of the meds, ABILIFY, after I took a low dosage of it for only two days, made me fall over, get dizzy, see everything blurred, and made my hair fall out. It was so bad that I thought I was having a stroke, and it almost sent me to the emergency room. My hair finally grew back, but it took months, and an extra 15 minutes to style my hair every morning just so the new growth would blend with the rest of my hair. I also had to pay the co-pay for all of the doctors' visits and the meds. I'm sure it cost my insurance company a lot more than just letting me try the Botox in the first place. Too much red tape.
I just received my first injections of Botox today. My neck feels a little this normal? Is it okay to lie down (on my back) at bedtime?

I added some before and after pictures

I added some before and after pictures. The text that I added to the pictures got cut off in the upload. The first picture of my forehead was taken two days ago, three and a half weeks after the Botox, and the other, more wrinkled photo, was taken in 2007 when I was 47.

I was even more wrinkled-up a few weeks ago, as I'm 52 now.. I just happen to be putting these pictures into a photo album, they're both untouched. What a difference! Not only are my headaches better, but so in my tinnitus, and I look younger...I feel like I've won the Win, Place, and Show!

Margo Zargo, I just read your Sept. 8th update! It made me soooo happy to hear your migraines have been helped!! I can only imagine the improvement in your daily life!! I also have to complement you on your attitude. Its great that even though you are still dealing with some other discomforts and headaches you are still able to see the good this has done. I really hope something is able to be done so you no longer have neck or back stiffness, and perhaps with your second round even the normal headaches will be minimized - hoping!! :)

i am having the botox injections today.does anyone know, what im i expecting to notice anything different ,when you first get them ,i am so nerveous , im just so scared something will go wrong, i hear about the droopy eye lids ,and still people having bad headache , is it worth it and does it hurt, i said 31 injections in the head is a bit much i think,why so many injections, and what should i expect . the first couple of days
Anxious to hear what your results are. I agree, 31 injections is frightening! Good luck today. I hope that you feel better.

I just had my second round of Botox injections on...

I just had my second round of Botox injections on 12/21/2012, this time the neurologist did the 31 shot recommended protocol, and a couple of extra shots further back of the shots that I get in my temples. She said that this might help because my muscles are so large from grinding and clenching my teeth. I've been wearing a nightguard for the past 10 years, but sometimes I forget and only wear it a few times a week.

This second round was done 4 months after the first round, and about three weeks before the second round, I started to get terrible migraines again. The day after she did the second round, I got an excruciating migraine that lasted the whole day, but it could have been due to the stress of getting the shots. Who really wants to get 31+ shots in their face, temples, and neck.

The only side-effect that I had from the first round was that my upper back felt tight for about two months, it didn't hurt, but it was just uncomfortable, a couple of Advil helped. I told the neurologist about this and she used a lesser strength at the base of my neck, so hopefully, it won't happen again.

She does a lot of Botox for migraine patients, so I asked her if it helps them, too, and she said that she has found that it help her patients the most that are teeth grinders and who clench their teeth.

I wanted to have the second round at 3 months, but I was unable to get an appointment sooner. Luckily, I had been hording my Sumatriptan meds that I didn't need for the past three months. I only get 9 pills a month because of my insurance, and I used up my whole supply during the last month before my second round of shots.

I'll post another update next week when it kicks in.
NC, My wife started to have severe migraines after our 2nd child. She tried every medication available. In 2007 we appealed to have botox covered but paid out of pocket for 18 months while the appeal was processed. It took about 3 series of injections but she when from 12 a month (22 days of migraine pain) to 1 a month. After 24 months she was down to 2-3 per year. It may not work for everyone but it took about 2 years of trying every medication and tracking possible triggers and the botox was the only intervention that we can conclude worked. Now 7 years later her doctor moved and she was doing very well and he said she can try to go without the shots but they have returned. We went to another MD and they are reduced again to 1 per month. This is only one person's experience but cause and effect over 7 years may be a helpful resource to some. For those suffering I hope you find some answers in this post.
since i had botox for bad head ache and migraine, my eyes have closed up,they dont hurt but it dose not look good, july 17 2014 got to have second lot in oct 8 2014,I am 65 years young
Is it really worked? I don’t have any idea about Botox. I hope that it will be rescue me from migraine headaches as soon as possible. I was suffering with this headache from last 10 years.

Recommend to first neurologist by a psychiatrist. The first neurologist tried many different meds on me, so many that I was beginning to feel like a lab rat. She then suggested Botox, which she doesn't do, and then referred me to a second neurologist that does do Botox.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 8 others found this helpful