Previous bad experience with botox, wondering if i should try again

I had botox injected (by a board certified plastic surgeon) into frown lines and crows feet 5 years ago. Several days later I looked great but began to have terrible tension headaches in my occipital area and jaw that persisted for 3-4 months. Advil did not really touch them. I am wondering if there are people who are predisposed to neural irritation or muscular overcompensation that leads to headaches. I would love to get injected again but i am really scared. Thanks for your help..

Doctor Answers 4

Previous bad experience with botox, wondering if i should try again

While some people do have a slight headache following Botox treatments, it typically lasts a couple of days.  I would be very cautious to have Botox again.  Be sure your doctor knows your history; maybe try a lesser dose. 

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Botox and headaches

Botox is FDA approved to treat migraines, however it can also cause headaches usually just immediately after injection and for a day or so, and its rare.  It could certainly happen again, so I would proceed with caution.  You could talk to your doctor and try a lower dose.  Discuss it with your doctor and or get a second opinion. 

Rebecca Baxt, MD
Paramus Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Botox and Headaches

Botox is now approved to treat migraines.  It is not a typical side effect for a headache to last more than a few days.  I suggest you go to a neurologist who is experienced in Botox to get an opinion.  Botox is great from an aesthetic point of view but a headache lasting four months should be pursued.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Botulinum toxins...can be a pain in the head (for some people)

Thats a great question and anyone who uses these medications regularly will tell you it is probably one of the more common concerns and or/side effects. In fact, apart from slight discomfort, redness around the injection site and minor bruising, headaches are the most common side effect of neuromodulators. 

However, it is not common to have the headaches last 3-4 months. Most people find as the muscles become altered due to the neuromodulator, the get some discomfort. This typically resolves. I have, however, seen a few people describe what you noticed.  I think your description above is spot-op with respect to muscular overcompensation. You end up getting "tension headaches" as other muscles try to pull and oppose those muscles that are altered. 

Based on my experience, this resolves eventually. I certainly can not guarantee it, but I would talk to a physician with experience with these medications in person and see what they think. I'd review your medical history to ensure there are no other concerns. 

I hope this helps

James Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Ottawa Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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