Botox for Migraines

I’ve had chronic migraines since I was 16, when I was in a bad car accident. Despite physical therapy, massage, chiropractics and probably at least a hundred medications and cocktails of medications, supplements and every home therapy possible, nothing has worked. Oh, some things work or help for a time, don’t get me wrong. There are lots of home techniques that I use and have used for years to help cope with the near daily migraines.

Back in July Doc sent me to a neurologist who decided I would be a good candidate for Botox. When I think of botox I think of those Hollywood horror stories where people are plumped to insane craziness and can’t move their faces. Scary. Not something I want. Neuro doc assured me this is not the case. Lol. He also told me that 80% of his patients get considerable relief from their migraines. This, this did interest me. The neurologist office sent the request to insurance, then a couple weeks later they called me back to schedule my botox appt. Unfortunately scheduling me was several months out, I got to go second week of December.

A few tips for preparing to go

  1. No makeup! They’re injecting your face and will be using alcohol wipes to clean your face anyways, so just skip the makeup.
  2. Bring a hair tie.
  3. Bring someone with you to drive and if you want, to be in the room with you. This was super important for me as I was terrified. My friend’s questions and dialogue helped a ton.

 

So here’s what happens. Because it’s all in your face and head, you don’t have to change clothes into an awful gown. I do recommend wearing a shirt without a collar and loose enough they can get to your shoulders. Super tiny needle. 27 gauge needle –  same size you use to draw blood from tiny kittens. There are 32 injection sites, 200 mls of botox injected total. Doc started between my eyes. Then worked his way over my eyebrows then moved up to my forehead just below my hairline. Next he did 4 injections above each ear on the sides of my head. This was awful, not so much the pain though that was certainly a huge factor, but you hear this crinkly crunching sound when the needle goes into the cartilage. Ugh and shudders. Next Doc moved around to the back of my head and shoulders. This is where the ponytail tie comes in handy. Most of the injections went around the occipital area and then a few into the shoulder muscles. This is where the loose shirt comes in handy.

 

 

During the injections I was using my breathing techniques I’ve learned over the years to deal with pain, especially those from labor. They helped, had I not done them I probably would have fainted dead away. As it were, I did have to lie down for a few minutes to regulate myself. According to the doctor, he’s only had one person faint and she was also nervous like I was. I had gotten over my nervousness by that time and it was a matter of pain tolerance. Perhaps I’m a sissy, or maybe it’s my severe fibromyalgia, but it hurt bad. 

The bumps went down within a couple hours but the pain felt like bruises for several days to a full week depending on the spot.

The neurologist said that for first time botox users, relief usually takes 2-3 weeks but then lasts up to about the 12 week mark when you’re due for your next set of injections. (Procedure is done every 3 months) Unfortunately….. So far… it hasn’t worked at all for me. Some days the migraines are mild enough that though I take medication I don’t record them. But overall nothing has changed. I did talk to the nurse while at an appointment with my pain specialist who gets botox treatments, she said she didn’t get any relief until the 3 set of injections. So… if insurance will continue to cover it, there might still be hope.

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10 thoughts on “Botox for Migraines

    • The nice thing about Botox is aside from the bruise pain just at the beginning, there aren’t any side effects. Though I did hear from some people that it gave a last killer migraine before working then no more migraines.

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  1. Valerie says:

    Thank you for sharing this. My daughter is scheduled to have botox for her migraines in a few weeks. I will def. share this with her. So sorry it hasn’t worked. Wishing you all the best. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie Smith says:

    I’ve had botox injections at least four times now with co-pays anywhere between$500.00 to $800.00 and my migraines actually got worse after each time. The reason I kept going back is my neorologist said it takes several times to “work”. I will NOT ever get them again! Now, I do not know what to try next. I feel as though that was m last hope…I’ve tried everything they could think of and having fybromyalgia with this has totally changed my life n not for the better. I miss things with my family (kids, grandkids siblings etc) It’s VERY depressing 😢

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    • I’m so sorry they didn’t help. I’ve read that they help for a lot of people but they didn’t work for me either. I can’t imagine how awful that must have been for them to be worse though. Mine were only worse immediately after then nothing really changed. That’s crazy expensive!

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