Botox for Migraines: Is it Safe and Does it Work?

While Botox is approved for migraine headaches, does it really reduce their frequency? And what are the risks associated with the injection?

For migraine sufferers, finding a treatment that works can be, well, a headache. While there are many prescription medications available, they don’t work for everyone and often have side effects.

One medication you might not be aware of that is used for migraines is Botox (botulinum toxin) — the same injection that is most commonly known as a cosmetic treatment to reduce wrinkles on the face. Depending on severity and frequency, Botox can be a life-changing preventative measure.

But before you consider Botox as a migraine treatment, you should know it is associated with some side effects and there are studies that question just how effective the injection is for migraines.

Botox is the commercial form of botulinum toxin, a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum — the same bacteria that causes botulism. However, it is not harmful since the protein is administered in small doses and not into your bloodstream.

Common Side Effects of Botox

Some of the possible side effects associated with Botox are swelling or bruising where the injection is made, headache or flu-like symptoms, crooked smile, drooling and excessive tearing.

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