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Botox, a preventive treatment for chronic migraine

Posted on 03-03-2015

Neurologist, Jorge Delgado states that an injection of botulinum toxin may reduce the number of crises and the amount of painkiller needed to treat a great many patients.

The Hospiten Group recommends the administering of botulinum toxin, better known as botox, as a preventive treatment for chronic migraine, a more aggressive migraine causing acute headaches for at least 15 days of the month, and that are usually accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting or fatigue.

Until now botulinum toxin was used to treat movement disorders, hyperhidrosis (excessive perspiration), urological disorders and in esthetic medicine. However, more than a year ago, the Ministry for Public Health approved the prescription of Botox (®) as a preventive treatment for chronic migraine, based on results of various clinical trials in which its efficacy was proven, like the PREEMPT studies (Phase III Research Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy).

According to the results of the study, the botulinum toxin injection resulted in the number of days with headache in a month being reduced in over 50% of the patients. This was associated with a significant improvement in their quality of life.

As Jorge Delgado, neurologist at Hospiten Roca, explains, chronic migraine is a very complex condition that has a profound impact on the patients’ quality of life, causing absences from work and social isolation and sometimes results in the abuse of painkillers to reduce the pain.

Furthermore, once migraine becomes chronic, the relief obtained through the use of prescription drugs, whose treatment is fundamentally based on prophylaxis, is much more modest. For that reason, the use of new treatments like botulinum toxin is important.

As a general rule, 155 iU of toxin are administered at each session, spread over about 31 pericranial, or head trigger, points (forehead, temples, occipital and cervical regions). Additionally, treatment must be repeated every three months, approximately, which is the average duration of the toxin. When the response is satisfactory, these effects tend to last longer, allowing the infiltrations to be more spaced out in time.

“This treatment does not produce notable side effects and can be administered simultaneously with drugs used for the prevention and abortive treatment of chronic migraine, which is an advance in the treatment of this disease”, states the Hospiten neurologist.