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Botox for migraines – your questions answered

Botox is proven to be a successful treatment for migraine and we have been supporting patients with this debilitating condition though botox treatment for over 10 years.

Throughout that time, we are proud to have achieved a 90% success rate with patients experiencing an improvement in their symptoms.

Here we answer patients’ frequently asked questions about this innovative approach to migraine management.

How does botox work for migraines?

Injection of the botulinum toxin or botox is used to relax muscles. Botox is commonly used to achieve cosmetic results – for the reduction of lines and wrinkles, but this relaxant effect can also be used to treat medical conditions such as migraines.

Botox for migraines can help to reduce frequency and severity of attacks. This is accomplished by the effect of blocking the transfer of information from the motor nerve to the muscle. Therefore, botox acts not only to decrease pain signals during migraine, it can also reduce attacks by blocking certain chemicals that cause the pain of migraine.

When is botox recommended for migraine treatment?

Botox is approved for use for the treatment of chronic migraine in adults.

Chronic migraine is defined as having at least 15 headache days a month, with at least eight of those featuring migraine symptoms.

Source: The Migraine Trust

Who should consider botox treatment for migraine?

Botox treatment is recommended for patients who do not experience relief from other preventive medications. Usually when they have tried several different oral medications and don’t have consistent results, patients may consider botox treatment.

It is not an appropriate treatment for patients who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Certain medical conditions may also preclude patients from treatment.

How will I know if botox treatment is right for me?

The first stage with any treatment at Melior Clinics is a free consultation. The purpose of this is to ensure that the particular treatment being considered is right for you and has potential to give you the desired results.

During the consultation, one of our expert practitioners will talk through your medical history to understand:

  • The background of your migraine attacks and symptoms.
  • Any previous medical issues or injuries.
  • Your family medical history.
  • Any medication you are taking.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

This information ensures that the treatment is safe and appropriate for you.

What happens during botox treatment for migraines?

When you are feeling comfortable to begin, the treatment involves making 25 to 30 small injections in total, which takes around 5 minutes.

A small amount of the botox is injected into specific points above the bridge of the nose, forehead, temples, back of the head, top of the neck and the trapezius muscles that run from neck to shoulder.

The needle used is very small, the same size as the needles used by diabetics for daily insulin. Most people feel little or no pain from the injections, just a small scratch, and each one is very quick.

The appointment takes about half an hour in total. Afterwards you can go about your day as normal, although you should avoid alcohol and strenuous exercise for 24 hours.

Are there any side effects of botox treatment for migraines?

A little redness at the sites of the injections can occur, but this will quickly calm. Bruising is not usually an issue because the needle used is so small, but occasionally small bruises can appear.

Some patients experience a little neck pain and stiffness in the week following treatment. This can be caused by some muscles compensating for those that have been relaxed by the procedure. Other side effects can include a headache shortly after treatment.

Once the botox has taken effect, you will find that some of your facial wrinkles are smoothed out as a by-product of the treatment. Before treatment, your practitioner will have explained this effect to you and we always consider the aesthetic result of the botox injections alongside the migraine relief.

On rare occasions, patients can experience flu-like symptoms such as muscle aches and fever. This is very short-lived, lasting up to a few days at most, and is usually a one-off.

Can I take other medications for headache alongside botox treatment?

Yes. Patients can continue to use treatments to manage acute migraine symptoms while receiving botox treatment.

What results can I expect from botox treatment for migraines?

Botox treatment starts to work after a few days, so you will start to notice the benefits in about a week.

Over 90% of our patients see an improvement in their migraine symptoms after just one treatment.

Whilst botox isn’t a cure for migraines, regular treatment helps to manage them. Therefore, treatment is usually repeated every three to four months to maintain the benefits.

The reduction in migraine symptoms can be life changing.

How can I find out more about botox treatment for migraines?

To arrange your free, initial consultation at one of our Save Face accredited clinics at Huntingdon, Harley Street, Peterborough or Sevenoaks, you can book online, call us on 0330 024 1300 or email