How Effective is Botox for Migraines? Real Stories from the Community
Real People Share Real Experiences Using Botox to Treat Chronic Migraines.
Anyone who suffers from chronic migraines knows how debilitating it can be living in fear of suddenly being struck with severe head pain, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light. Or how difficult it is having to constantly break important commitments to your spouse, children, or coworkers when you're suddenly hit with a headache so bad you can't get out of bed.
For those who have tried every medication on the market and still haven't found relief, Botox may be the right treatment for you. But if you're skeptical about getting injections every three months to keep your headaches at bay, read on for real reviews shared from real migraine sufferers in the RealSelf community .
Stories from the community:
Community members who said it was Worth It:
"I have a 20 year history of crippling migraines. I would try Imitrex and thought I was cured and then would become immune to it. Same with Zomig, Fiornal w/codine, Maxalt...the list is long. I went through MAYO for answers..nothing. I might go a month with no migraine....then BOOM every other day for 2 months. I missed half of every week with either a headache or waking up from demerol/phenergan injections during middle of the night [trips] emergency rooms. Many times [I] wished I could remove my head or just not wake up. I look back now and that thought makes me so sad that I felt I had no options but pain. 2 years ago our clinic added BOTOX. I received 16-22 injections and it cost somewhere around $400-$450 which wasn't covered by insurance no matter how you tried to explain its use....COSMETIC PROCEDURE...END OF STORY.
Oh my was I in a whole new world...3 months went by and no headache of any kind...went in for 2nd treatment (4 per year) and have been pain free up until last week as I couldn't make my appointment and never rescheduled. I took feeling good for granted because the migraine showed its ugly face. 2 trips to the ER in 3 days and then slept for 2 days and the next thing I knew a week had passed and I kicked myself for not getting in there in time. Do you know what it costs to go to the ER/get iv/stay overnite due to my blood pressure in stroke level & pain meds...$2000 each day without any of my deductible. I hate reading on here the ignorant "lucky" people that don't know what head pain, sensitive to any noice or light, vomiting and laying on the bathroom floor until morning because you can't see to drive and therefore you wait until your husband comes home and finds you hours later and takes you to hospital. Good for you and your narrow view of botox and it only having a cosmetic use for the privileged.
All you sufferers...with years of documented migraine treatment and failures...FDA approved Botox as a medically necessary treatment for a lot of migraine patients not only for proof of use but also not as cosmetic as it isn't injected in the typical wrinkle areas ...anyway not for me. But I don't care because smiling and not scowling in pain added to my looking younger. Do your research to find the qualified botox services and don't go for cheapest. Drop me a note a month after you try it. I pray it works for you too."-- Iowa Lori
"I have had botox regularly since 2007. Initially for the excruciating migraines I used to suffer. This stuff really does work for me in getting rid of regular, painful migraines that I'd suffered for years.
From a cosmetic point of view. I am 34 years of age, but often get mistaken for someone who looks 23-25 years of age. I even fooled a toughened detective! I attribute this to not only a healthy lifestyle, but also to use of botox. I have hardly any wrinkles, and no, my face is not "frozen" - I only get it done twice a year, 3 times if the year has been particularly stressful."-- MissSydney
"I've suffered through painful migraines for the better part of thirty years...I got Botox four days ago & since then its like I have a whole new lease on my life! I received four syringes.... from the shoulders to the tip top of my head (yeah, it hurt... but it REALLY was a very small price to pay).
I recommend this to anyone that's suffered through chronic headaches needlessly.... It really is the answer I've been prayin' for!"-- Diana WOlson
Community members who said it was Not Worth It:
"This was the second time I received the botox TX for migraines. The first time was in 2009 when it wasn't approved yet. It was a better experience and seemed to help somewhat. I got a few less migraines and the majority of the botox was in my face and traps along my back.
I decided to try it again now that it was approved by the FDA. Big mistake. I received 200 units and apparently there is a new protocol as to the injection sites. The majority of the shots were in my back and neck. The neck shots were given at the base of my skull and they really hurt. It has been a little over a month and I'd say I've had more headaches than ever before in my life. My neck was very sore and the mucles were weakened. My neck made actual cracking noises and has been so very painful. In a phrase. It backfired. I am worse off now and promised my self I'd never do it again. I am starting to feel a bit better now...thank God but it has been an AWFUL month."-- DebbieB
"I was given approx 100 units of Botox for treatment of chronic migraines. I was not warned in advance about any potential long term side effects. Within 24 hours I had the worst headache of my life. I thought I was literally going to die. The headache decreased a small amount daily but in crept anxiety, depression, nightmares and a strange feeling of disassociation. I lost my job and my marriage suffered as well. Oh, and my migraines are meaner than ever. Summary: if you want to try Botox for any reason, learn from my mistake and don't take the risk. I eventually recovered, others have not been so lucky."-- Jennay Grump
"I had botox done for chronic migranes by a neurologist so it was covered under my insurance. It has been about 4 days since the injections and so far totally not worth it. I'm in extreme pain in my neck (listed as a side effect on botox dot com) and still have migraines.
Maybe the neck pain will subside along with the migraines, or maybe they will both get worse as it seems to have for so many of us. Only time will tell. As of right now, I would NOT have this done again."--alhuff26
Have you tried Botox for migraines? Join the discussion here!
For More Real Stories, Read Below:
Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare professional. Your reliance on any information or content provided in the guide is solely at your own risk. You should always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare professional for any questions you have about your own medical condition. RealSelf does not endorse or recommend any specific content, procedure, product, opinion, healthcare professional, or any other material or information in this guide or anywhere on this website.
Was this guide helpful? Thanks for your feedback
Still have questions about Botox for Migraines? Ask a doctor.