Botox, most well known for treating wrinkles has now recieved FDA approval for treating migraine headaches. On Friday, federal health officials approved Botox for treating migraine patients who experience the debilitating headaches 15 or more days per month. Allergan, the pharmaceutical company which manufactures Botox as well as other medications such as Latisse and Juvederm, says that around 3.2 million people in the US suffer from these chronic migraines.
Some physicians have previously been using Botox as an off-label treatment for migraines but now the manufacturer can legally market it for this purpose. Botox has also been FDA approved for treatment of hyperhydrosis, or excessive sweating, in the underarms and other treatments related to muscle spasticity. This approval comes based on two studies of more than 1,300 patients.
For migraine usage, doctors will inject Botox into the neck or head every 12 weeks to dull the pain of future headaches. This gives patients another option for migraine relief which currently includes several medications including addictive prescription narcotics.
Botox is a neurotoxin which works by blocking the connections between the nerves and the muscle so that the muscle is temporarily paralyzed. This and other products such as Dysport and Xeomin are diluted and purified versions of botulinum, which is known as the most toxic substance in the world. All three of these botulinum based products bare the FDA's black box warning about a possibility of death due to the distance spread of the toxin. However, when injected properly at correct dosages by a trained professional, Botox and other botulinum products are considered very safe.