Most people think of Botox as a treatment to fight the appearance of facial wrinkles. However, you may be surprised to know that Botox actually has medical uses for other health conditions, including migraines.
Quincy Medical Group’s (QMG) Neurology department offers Botox as a treatment option for chronic migraines. Neurologist Dr. Daniel Kimple says chronic migraines are defined as having 15 or more headache days per month. Eight or more of these days need to be a migraine associated headache days, and headaches generally need to last 4 or more hours to count towards a headache day.
Chronic migraine sufferers often face debilitating symptoms impacting their quality of life. “Migraine headaches are often in the frontal head region or unilateral and tend to have a throbbing or pulsatile quality. Accompanying symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound during the attacks,” explains Dr. Kimple.
If a patient has these symptoms, their first step should be to discuss their condition with their primary care provider. Dr. Kimple says before a patient can be considered a candidate for Botox treatment, there has to be documentation that the patient has been unable to tolerate or achieve adequate relief from other headache medications.
“There may be initial prevention treatments before consideration of Botox such as optimizing acute medications, preventing medication overuse headaches, addressing comorbid conditions and adjusting lifestyle practices,” he explains. “The primary provider then may choose to refer for evaluation for Botox with a neurologist.”
Once referred to neurology, a member of QMG’s neurology team will perform an extensive evaluation to determine if Botox is the best treatment option.
“Generally the patient will be evaluated by a neurologist and if they meet the necessary requirements would likely receive injections typically for a trial period. Botox has the advantage of being a local agent to the targeted region and may avoid potential side effects that oral medications may have.”
Botox has also been effective in the treatment of other conditions including cervical dystonia, post-stroke spasticity, blepharospasm, and torticollis.
For more information, contact Quincy Medical Group at 217-222-6550, ext. 3434.