October 15th, 2010
09:35 PM ET

FDA approves Botox as migraine preventive

Federal health authorities on Friday approved Botox injections for the prevention of chronic migraines in adults.

In a statement, the Food and Drug Administration recommended Botox be injected approximately every three months around the head and neck to dull future headache symptoms.

The drug - whose generic name is onabotulinumtoxinA - has not been shown to work against migraines that occur 14 days or fewer per month, nor has it been shown to work for other forms of headache, said the statement.

Experiencing a migraine on most days "is one of the most disabling forms of headache," said Dr. Russell Katz, of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "This condition can greatly affect family, work, and social life, so it is important to have a variety of effective treatment options available."

Migraines, an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head, are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound, doctors say. Chronic migraines are defined as those that occur on 15 days or more for more than four hours per day.


Filed under: Botox • Health • Migraines
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Jim Brieske

    Waste of money. A hand towel tied (not tight, not loose, snug) around the forehead pain area does the same thing. It applies just enough external pressure to move the blood thus releasing the pain.
    Botox is just working internally doing the same thing but tightening the skin causing pressure to be applied to release the pain through blood movement.

    October 15, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Thanks doctor! Please let us know how to cure cancer as well.

      October 15, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • V

      And, who can go to work with a hand towel tied around their head? Who can perform activities of daily living with a hand towel tied around their frigging head? REALLY? Is it going to stay in place when I'm bent over the toilet retching my guts out, praying for death because my head is throbbing so badly? Botox is only approved for people who have migraines more than 14 days of a month. So for 14 days, or more, in a month someone should walk around with a HAND TOWEL TIED AROUND THEIR HEAD???? You, sir, are a moron!!!

      October 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • V

      Oh, and Botox doesn't just tighten the skin it is actually a paralytic, so it STOPS contractions to PREVENT migraines!!!

      October 15, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Oh that and about a thousand other folk remedies, tried them all. Thanks though and yes, please let us know how using a bottle cap and some windex cures herpes, kthxbye

      October 15, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sherri W.W.

    @jim B~while I suppose its true a person could hardly go to work with a towel tied around your head~still~as a nearly life~long sufferer of migraines I Will try your suggestion at home along with my medicine.Sometimes different things do work for different people.For instance~everything says chocolate will cause migraines,but for me~I keep a bar of dark choc.with me,and a couple bites of that~along with my meds,usually helps more than just the medicine alone~so any reasoable thing is worth trying for this very debilitating illness.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jim Brieske

    V and David. I suffer from Cluster Headaches. I have had them for 10 years and during that time period I have had over 8,000 Cluster Headaches. They are worse than migraines.
    Both of you can go f yourselves. You know nothing of headache pain compared to me. The fact is what I wrote works and is true. I did not tell you to go to work at the chicken farm like that either. Here is another remedy, one you would probably like alot.
    Come to my house and I will shove my foot up your butts.

    October 16, 2010 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Floria sigmundi

    That's scary Botox has adverse affects


    October 16, 2010 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. barbara

    wow so now people can get rid of migraines and if they get another, their face will be so slack you wont see the grimmace! brilliant!

    October 16, 2010 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. okay

    Breast implants cure cancer,calf implants cure AIDS,viagra cures divorce,Obama cures racism,tummy tucks cure herpes ! Just a few home remedies from "The Liberals are Destroying This Country" handbook ! You may not get headaches but you'll sure look stupid when you have no expressions ! LAME STORY CNN !! Thanks for wasting my time !

    October 16, 2010 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
    • jd

      I am so glad to see that this has been approved and hope that my insurance will now help cover some of the expense. It is too bad that it was first released as a cosmetic drug because people were closed minded about it for so long. Many of the places it is injected (back of the head under the hairline) have nothing to do with preventing wrinkles but I have to pay so much for it because of the cosmetic benefits.
      Migranal Nasal Spray has been a lifesaver for me because it can actually get rid of a migraine in combination with a hot shower. I can only take that 2x/week though so more options would be nice. Relpax is another good drug if you can catch the migraine soon enough. Has anyone had any luck with preventatives? Topamax worked for me but I could not handle the side effects.
      For those of you who do not have migraines please be grateful and do not judge the rest of us for trying to get enough relief to function and make it through the day.

      October 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Santosh

    Good jobs doctors!....its a great achievement ..let us know more about such a research in comin days.

    October 16, 2010 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jim ( UK )

    Potatoes used to give me migraines : haven`t eaten any 30 years . Not even potato chips . Tension headache also causes migraines for which I take sumatriptan ( in the UK ) .

    October 16, 2010 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Sumatriptan didn't work for me; Migraleve does. I take it as soon as my vision starts to get disrupted. Does anyone know if we have equivalent to Migraleve in the US??

      October 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. suffer

    I suffer from terrible migraines to the point that I have to go to bed or I want to kill myself,nothing works once a migraine starts even prescriptions dont work but a friggin towel will,it does not work.thank god for botox,it prevents it.i inherited from my mother.

    October 16, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dr. Phil

    what a boon to the industry when the FD announces approval for asprin based anti-wrinkle cream.

    October 16, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dr. Phil

    FDA rather. We trust them with our lives, so we should spell their name correctly.

    October 16, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jim Brieske

    suffer. Migraine and Cluster headaches are diffucult manage. But they must be. I have found that if everything fails, then sitting in a dark room with a hand towel folded and made into a bandana and tightened around my forehead creating the exact correct amount of pressure does in fact take away the pain.
    I just don't feel like adding another medication to my repretroire. Already shuffling them, then dropping and going to something stronger then increasing the dosage. Then to the ER.
    I found 60 mgs of morphine a day for 6 weeks will stop a Cluster headache cycle in it's tracks.
    But there are side effects but nothing that compares to getting Cluster Headaches every hour and a half when I go to sleep at night, month after month.
    I still think I live on the wrong side of the planet.

    October 16, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. phil

    Hey Jim. A recent study showed that about 8 out of 10 Americans walk around dehydrated all day. Over time, this causes all sorts of problems, especially chronic headaches. I like your towel trick in theory, though I wouldn't wear a towel on my head in public these days.

    October 16, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      Dehydration is one of my biggest migraine triggers. I think that it is one trigger that is greatly overlooked.

      October 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. okay


    October 16, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. phil

    Tracy...no doubt about it!

    October 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
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