Not many of us are aware that Botox injections are approved by the FDA for the treatment of chronic migraines. However, a review conducted by scientists at the Medical College of Wisconsin has shown that botox may just be modestly effective in reducing headaches.
A meta-analysis was conducted on this regard where 5,313 subjects were analyzed and pitted against a placebo group. As per the outcomes, botox seemed to reduce the frequency of chronic daily headaches and migraine headaches. There appeared to be no link between its use and reduction in episodic migraines or chronic headaches arising due to tension. Moreover, there were some side-effects associated with it such as drooping of eyelids, skin stiffness, prickly feeling, neck tightness, weak muscles and neck pain.
“Migraine and tension-type headaches are common. Although up to 42 percent of adults experience tension-type headaches sometime in their life, most do not seek medical advice. Migraines are less common, with a worldwide prevalence between 8 percent and 18 percent, but are associated with greater disability,” state the investigators.
The analysis essentially suggested that Botox treated daily headaches and migraines with a small clinical benefit. It did not show any improvements in episodic headaches or those that occur due to tension. Botox recently showed promise in the treatment of bladder problems, but it is a known remedy for migraines since long. This study questions its effectiveness in treating episodic migraines which generally take place less number of times than regular headaches.
The study is published in the recent issue of JAMA.