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. lynn

    botox! thats great.

    October 16, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hoss

    Yet marijuana stays illegal. way to go guys. love my country hate my government.

    October 17, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sherri W.W.

    @Jim B~just read your post~sorry to hear you have cluster headaches.People who have never had Migraine or Cluster headaches cannot even IMAGINE what its like!Over the years,I have heard"oh~I woudn`t take all that strong medicine"or hospital on~call doctors who sugget"less stong" drugs~RIGHT!~anybody sayin that stuff should have JUST ONE of those headaches,that`s all it would take to change ANYBODYS`mind about that!The clusters are worse than my migraines I have heard~can`t imagine !~My headaches are about every 2 days and I do take at least 1 pill everyday to try and keep them away long as possible~and the being quiet& in dark room does help,at least~whatever you have to do to help it for sure&again will try your suggestion when mine gets bad~for sure!God Bless.

    October 17, 2010 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sherri W.W.

    @MissFizzy~I never heard of that Medicine,but the Sumtriptan didnt help me,Zolmitriptan does.~Also I take a mild codene medication especially for Migraines~and med called phenergan,for nausea~which used to only be available in shots~between the 2 meds~I am now able to ward off some of the horrible headaches!~But it took trying 13 medicines before found any that helped,except the shots,so as you know,the headaches are NOT fun!~and again,people who do not have severe headaches cannot imagine what a headache beyond the kind that respond to OTC meds,really are like~never.

    October 17, 2010 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jim Brieske

    phil. You are so funny.
    Oh I texted my sister. First I told her of an idea I had regarding starting new store franchise. Asked her to ask Howard about it. She texted me back and informed me that "Made in the USA" stores already existed. Then asked her to ask Howard if Dick Cheney is stealing Russian Black Gold and has built a pipeline thru Afghahistan. She texted back, yes.
    But she hates Dick Cheney. I like him. He is brilliant when one looks at the big picture.
    So I have to wait for the day after Thanksgiving to find out, or Saturday. Possibly around Christmas. It depends. Still investigating. Could tan and put the towel around my head then go have a look for myself.
    Thank you, Sherri W.W. Headaches are not easy. But as you know, we struggle on thinking of all the good things in life.

    October 17, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. JM

    Folks, I'm 46 and a migraine sufferer since 16. Last 5 yrs I get e 2-4 a week. Last year my Dr. Prescribed Maxalt. It's been a godsend. Even after the migraine started, kills it after about 20 mins! No kidding. Ask your Dr. About it.

    October 17, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. suffer

    I will try maxalt.im on tramadol,because I refuse to take any stronger medications.sorry people no otc works I have tried all of it,taken more than the dose,went to my dr found I had migraines.i drink water all day,avoid chocolate,salt,sugar,candy,and fried food and nothing works but drugs.someone told me weed works.

    October 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sherri W.W.

    @JM&suffer:Yes,I also do use Maxalt sometimes,when my Dr.has samples~and it works well too.Also another newer one called Frova when samples are available.I use Zomig mainly,but also Relpax~and I USED to change back&forth between Zomig&Relpax,with the Doctors`blessing~because you can become used to one,I think.HOWEVER~my INS.CO Decided[didnt know THEY were Doctors!]this year,that I didnt NEED more than ONE at a time,so I had to decide!And,at $25a pill its hard to buy too many without ins! I did buy 2 Relpax to keep on hand~just in case the day comes that the Zomig doesnt work that day! I also use a pill to keep as many headaches as possible from from becoming full blown Migraines~because,not only are the Migraine pills expensive,you are not supposed to use more than 2 in 24 hrs.,of any of them,due to fact they could POSSIBLY cause heart attack if too many are used in a day.The lessor pill I use has a very mild dose of codene+one aspirin an couple other things in it. Since I have Fibormyalgia as well + some other things,I just use the 1 pain pill for all,because dont want more than 1 pain pill. I have Blue Cross ins,which for most part is good,but my headaches are one reason I am VERY much in favor of the new HC Bill~

    October 17, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sherri W.W.

    Since several of us on here do suffer from BAD headaches~and OFTEN~I wonder if all of you guys have insurance or medicaid,to cover the cost?dont know about all of you,but it makes me MAD as the devil,when these people seem to think no one NEEDS health ins!~and,it amazes me,with 50 MILLION folks without ins~SURELY some of these people spouting off dont have ins or medicaid or medicare??So~what DO they do for medical care?~Go to the FREE Emergency room at the Hospital?~like 1 of the TeaP folks told a reporter awhile back?~and that reporter said that,no matter HOW he explained to that lady,that Em Rm Care IS NOT FREE~that taxpayers have to pay for it~she would NOT believe him! She kept insisting that he was wrong~that it free~because SHE had ALWAYS used it*NEVER had to pay for it!~Lord~I cant get that woman out of my mind~and also the gentleman on soc.sec.[both him&wife],that was at that TP rally against Sen.Reid,in Nev.~HE told a reporter that they should "DO AWAY"with soc.sec.,but when the reporter asked if he&wife werent ON soc.sec.~his answer~"Well,I didnt MEAN FOR US~just younger people~they`ll figure out how to live!"~Good Lord! was all I could say!

    October 17, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sherri W.W.

    @JM&suffer&Jim B.~ Well~a couple of my comments disappeared,but hope they put them back on because it is good for us all to discuss what works for different illnesses and also how we can pay for it all!

    October 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sherri W.W.

    Good~they are back.Didnt THINK i said anything wrong~Just good honest discussion~which I really wish more people could have!

    October 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sherri W.W.

    @suffer~No~OTC meds definately do not work for true migraines~if they do,then its not likely the person really has migraines.

    October 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. hoss

    You would want government health care until you have been to a va hospital.

    October 17, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Perfect32

    Yes, Botox works to lessen the symptoms of migraines. Using Botox to treat migraines is treating the symptoms. The question is, what is the CAUSE of the migraines? If you are comfortable shooting Botox (educate yourself as to what it actually is), every 3 months (the more you do it, the more often you will need it as the body builds up resisitance), then great. If you want to treat the cause and get yourself off of all medications, LOOK for the cause. I personally treat migraine patients daily in my dental office. Most migraines are muscle spasms which constrict the blood flow. That is why Botox works, it paralyzes the muscle and allows the blood to flow. In my practice (and I don't claim to solve all migraines, just dental related ones), we see patients daily whose bite (the relationship of upper and lower teeth) is not ideal. The body will adapt to this position (90% of my patients are in non-ideal postions) and the muscles have to adapt also. This leads to imbalance and muscle spasm and, eventually, can lead to migraines. Balancing the bite can solve this problem. Do some research on neuromuscular dentistry and see for yourselves. Good luck to all migraine sufferers (I've been one since I was 14...until I had my bite balanced).

    October 18, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. 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 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
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