Tomorrow I get Botox for migraine treatment

SusieB Community Member February 09, 2012
  • Tomorrow is the big day: I get my first Botox treatment from my pain management doctor. I'm nervous, but anxious to find out the results of the treatment. I'll post again once I'm home, rested, etc. I'm glad I had other posts from the My Migraine Connection community to read so I know what to expect. The one side effect the doctor mention is that he's had patients feel like they can't hold their head up on their own or something to that effect. It's short-lived though, so that's good to know!

22 Comments
  • Nancy Harris Bonk
    Health Guide
    Feb. 14, 2012

    So, how did it go? How are you feeling?

     

    Do tell!

     

    Nancy

     

  • Cole
    Mar. 08, 2012

    Are botox treatments covered under insurance now?  I received a Botox treatment in 2005 for the possible treatment for my chronic head pain.  I only received one treatment after finding out insurance did not cover this "cosmetic" procedure.  The treatment was very expensive so I discontinued after not receiving a benefit from the first set of...

    RHMLucky777

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    Are botox treatments covered under insurance now?  I received a Botox treatment in 2005 for the possible treatment for my chronic head pain.  I only received one treatment after finding out insurance did not cover this "cosmetic" procedure.  The treatment was very expensive so I discontinued after not receiving a benefit from the first set of injections.  I may try again if anyone knows if the insurance industry has reconsidered the benefits of Botox for pain management.  The procedure is surprisingly painful and likewise I was surprised that nothing was given for the added discomfort. 

    • SusieB
      Mar. 08, 2012

      I would call your insurance carrier. Mine is Blue Cross Blue Shield, Federal Employee Program, and I think I need to pay for 15% for a preferred provider after they have pre-authorized it to ensure it's for medical necessity. It must be that migraine is a valid reaon finally. I also had to pay my deductible off first before they pay their part. Mine was $350....

      RHMLucky777

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      I would call your insurance carrier. Mine is Blue Cross Blue Shield, Federal Employee Program, and I think I need to pay for 15% for a preferred provider after they have pre-authorized it to ensure it's for medical necessity. It must be that migraine is a valid reaon finally. I also had to pay my deductible off first before they pay their part. Mine was $350. (Thank goodness my husband has a flexible spending account or I would have waited until that figure was much less.)

       

      I forgot to ask the doctor how many injections he gave me. I saw him yesterday and ironically had a migraine attack this morning (weather change was rather major). He said he has no problem trying a second time. He has done that for some patients; he just won't a third if it's not benefitting me. I told him that TMD pain on the right side might be driving the pain each day. Where the Botox should have deadened things, I'm still experiencing spasm. He said he'll put more injections in that area and the back of the head where that muscle group is. (Yes, I won't lie. I couldn't believe I was allowing those pin pricks. The ones in the shoulder made me shudder. It is over pretty quickly though and, for me, the pain level returned to my norm the next day.)

  • Tricia
    Mar. 06, 2012

    Has anyone else had the experience that Botox just reduces the pain of a migraine and doesn't affect the other symptoms? That would be really disappointing, because it's the other symptoms -- fogginess, depression, fatigue, etc. -- that really bother me. (I guess I'm "lucky" that way...those hit me chronically, whereas I experience severe pain only now and...

    RHMLucky777

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    Has anyone else had the experience that Botox just reduces the pain of a migraine and doesn't affect the other symptoms? That would be really disappointing, because it's the other symptoms -- fogginess, depression, fatigue, etc. -- that really bother me. (I guess I'm "lucky" that way...those hit me chronically, whereas I experience severe pain only now and then.)

     

    Still trying to decide whether to go through with it. My appointment is next week!

  • Kathy F.
    Feb. 21, 2012

    I received 200 units of Botox for migraine on December 5.  It took exactly one month of almost daily headaches before, I think, the Botox took effect.  It's been about 6 weeks since then and I have had very few headaches.  Yes, the Botox definitely makes the neck hard to hold up.  The pain in the neck is constant but better than a headache. ...

    RHMLucky777

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    I received 200 units of Botox for migraine on December 5.  It took exactly one month of almost daily headaches before, I think, the Botox took effect.  It's been about 6 weeks since then and I have had very few headaches.  Yes, the Botox definitely makes the neck hard to hold up.  The pain in the neck is constant but better than a headache.  I believe I had far too much Botox injected for my first time.  I will try again but with less.  Good luck.

     

    • SusieB
      Feb. 29, 2012

      I definitely notice a difference in the shoulders, but not so much yet with the headaches. I see the doctor next week, so that will be almost a month. I'll have to find out whether he thinks I should try again or not. I've had jabs of pain in the temple to sides of the head where my PT said the Botox really should have "killed" them. I'm not giving up on it...

      RHMLucky777

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      I definitely notice a difference in the shoulders, but not so much yet with the headaches. I see the doctor next week, so that will be almost a month. I'll have to find out whether he thinks I should try again or not. I've had jabs of pain in the temple to sides of the head where my PT said the Botox really should have "killed" them. I'm not giving up on it yet. There's always hope something will work. :)

    • Tricia
      Mar. 01, 2012

      Is the difference in your shoulders good or bad? I thought injections in that area were meant to relax your muscles, but if they relax them to the point where it's hard to hold up your head, I'd consider that a negative!

    • SusieB
      Mar. 01, 2012

      Sorry -- the shoulder area is better. That was the only "new" thing. I had no problems with holding my head up thankfully. :)

  • SusieB
    Feb. 20, 2012

    I'm kind of bummed today as I've experienced migraine attacks for the past few days. My period started today, so I understand now why I awoke with a head-banger. I just hate using up my Relpax so soon. I used three of the six I receive for the month (until March 11). I wish insurance companies where less restrictive with Relpax because I had one doctor tell...

    RHMLucky777

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    I'm kind of bummed today as I've experienced migraine attacks for the past few days. My period started today, so I understand now why I awoke with a head-banger. I just hate using up my Relpax so soon. I used three of the six I receive for the month (until March 11). I wish insurance companies where less restrictive with Relpax because I had one doctor tell me it's a preventative sometimes just for that time of the month. What can you do though?

    • Nancy Harris Bonk
      Health Guide
      Feb. 29, 2012

      Hey there,

       

      With the Botox, maybe taking Relpax as soon as you feel a Migraine coming on will work quicker and more effectively. 

       

      How are you feeling?

  • SusieB
    Feb. 20, 2012

    I'm kind of bummed today as I've experienced migraine attacks for the past few days. My period started today, so I understand now why I awoke with a head-banger. I just hate using up my Relpax so soon. I used three of the six I receive for the month (until March 11). I wish insurance companies where less restrictive with Relpax because I had one doctor tell...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I'm kind of bummed today as I've experienced migraine attacks for the past few days. My period started today, so I understand now why I awoke with a head-banger. I just hate using up my Relpax so soon. I used three of the six I receive for the month (until March 11). I wish insurance companies where less restrictive with Relpax because I had one doctor tell me it's a preventative sometimes just for that time of the month. What can you do though?

  • Eva
    Eva
    Feb. 19, 2012

     

    I hope Botox will help you in managing your migraines.

     

    I was part of the Allergan Clinical Trials for evaluating Botox as a treatment for Chronic Migraines a couple of years ago so I have quite a bit of experience with it. At that time it helped me just a little bit. But since then my situation changed a lot and I think it would help more at this...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

     

    I hope Botox will help you in managing your migraines.

     

    I was part of the Allergan Clinical Trials for evaluating Botox as a treatment for Chronic Migraines a couple of years ago so I have quite a bit of experience with it. At that time it helped me just a little bit. But since then my situation changed a lot and I think it would help more at this point.

     

    Now I am strongly considering getting it done again. I do feel that tensing specific muscles does worsen my migraines, especially around my eyes and I do now that Botox has helped me with those. Unfortunately I have to wait till I get some kind of health insurance because at this point I cannot afford it.

     

    As far as symptoms from Botox I remember feeling like I had a cold or flu for a few days after the treatment.

     

    I do believe that Botox is a good solution, in my opinion it beats taking a prevenative medication every single day (if you are lucky enough that it will put you in that category, which does not work for all people).

  • SusieB
    Feb. 19, 2012

    I will ask how many shots were used when I have my appointment March 7. I think at least 20 or so if I had to guess. I forgot to mention that I almost passed out after the back of the head, neck, shoulder areas were done since I was sitting in a chair backward. I had to lie down for a few minutes. I do appear to have a Jack Nicholson look about the brows when...

    RHMLucky777

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    I will ask how many shots were used when I have my appointment March 7. I think at least 20 or so if I had to guess. I forgot to mention that I almost passed out after the back of the head, neck, shoulder areas were done since I was sitting in a chair backward. I had to lie down for a few minutes. I do appear to have a Jack Nicholson look about the brows when I try to lift them. :) I can deal with those things though. Hopefully I will feel results soon, but if not, I will try again. Thanks for all the great feedback.

  • Tricia
    Feb. 17, 2012

    I realize this is completely superficial and a ridiculous concern compared with chronic migraine, but did anybody who's received Botox notice that they looked different afterward? I'm dreading the brow/lid droop that seems so prevalent with injections around the eye. (But not enough for me to avoid trying it, which will happen next month.)

    • Elaine Gross
      Feb. 17, 2012

      It did remove the lines on my forehead and between my eyebrows.  Nice perk!  I've had my third round of shots, next month will be my fourth.  I still get breakthrough pain, even with 31 shots.  The neurologist says it's supposed to keep getting better with each treatment.  One thing to note, and least for me, the Botox only eliminates...

      RHMLucky777

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      It did remove the lines on my forehead and between my eyebrows.  Nice perk!  I've had my third round of shots, next month will be my fourth.  I still get breakthrough pain, even with 31 shots.  The neurologist says it's supposed to keep getting better with each treatment.  One thing to note, and least for me, the Botox only eliminates the pain of the migraines, not the other symptoms.  I'm a chronic migraineur and I still have at least two to three migraines per week.  Light, smells, weather, food, etc...still affect me.  I still go down with terrible nausea, malaise, numbness, tingling, tinnitus, aura, phantom smells, and even some head pain, once in a while it's severe.  At least I'm no longer suicidal, nor am I in the bed.  Those two things alone are huge to me.

  • kimberly315
    Feb. 16, 2012

    I have added Botox to my cocktail of migraine treatments, and wanted to share my experience.  Don't give up on Botox!

     

    I have had 5 Botox injection - each 13 weeks apart.  Each treatment was approx 25-30 shots, with most shots producing intense tingling/pain that went away quickly.  The tighter my muscle are, the more pain I experience. ...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I have added Botox to my cocktail of migraine treatments, and wanted to share my experience.  Don't give up on Botox!

     

    I have had 5 Botox injection - each 13 weeks apart.  Each treatment was approx 25-30 shots, with most shots producing intense tingling/pain that went away quickly.  The tighter my muscle are, the more pain I experience.  The location of the shots is determined by your migraine pattern of pain, which my neurologist and I have altered with successive treatments.  For me, it's above and between the eyebrows, both temples, base of neck and shoulders.

     

    My first Botox treatment did not alter my migraine pattern or pain.  However, a very wise doctor at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale told me that it takes three treaments to assess if it's working, so I continued.  The second Botox treatment didn't produce immediate relief, but by week 11, I was experiencing more pain.  So I know that it works.

     

    The third treatment was the best.  Pain relief was immediate.  The only side effect I experienced was a bit of light headedness after the first treatment.  Since this time, I've had no side effects.

     

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I still get migraines 3-4 times a week, but my shoulders don't tighten up like they use to, and the pain in my forehead is significantly reduced.  I consider Botox to be part of my pain management regiment. 

     

    Good luck!  I wish you success with Botox and a migraine free day,

     

    Kimberly

  • SusieB
    Feb. 14, 2012

    Thankfully, I felt better the next day after that initial day of treatment. I didn't realize no numbing agent would be used. The doctor said something about it killing the Botox? Maybe I got it wrong. As a result, I found it pretty painful. (I think if it works, I may ask about something to take before the treatment to calm me. I ended up with this panic feeling...

    RHMLucky777

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    Thankfully, I felt better the next day after that initial day of treatment. I didn't realize no numbing agent would be used. The doctor said something about it killing the Botox? Maybe I got it wrong. As a result, I found it pretty painful. (I think if it works, I may ask about something to take before the treatment to calm me. I ended up with this panic feeling the rest of the day.)

     

    He went along the front of my hairline and on top of the eyebrow area, in between the brows and two injections per temple area. Then he gave a few injections in the occipital area (lower part of the head that meets the neck?) and on each side of the lower part of my neck on each side (muscles between the shoulders). The latter were the worst injections because those muscles are always the tightest for me. Hopefully I will start to notice improvements, especially during menses. That week will be upon me next week, so perfect timing. I usually get roughly 3-4 attacks (1 the week before, 2-3 during). If this treatment breaks my neck and shoulder pain as well, you will hear "Hallelujah!" from here in Dayton. :) I will keep posting!

    • Tired of Head Pain
      Feb. 16, 2012

      I am curious about how many shots you received.  I have heard there are as many as 21 to 31 shots per tx.  How many did you receive?  It may be more or less depending on the treatment.  

       

      Glad you got throught it well and are feeling well.  Sorry the shots were painful, but that is only a small part of the overall tx, so I hope...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I am curious about how many shots you received.  I have heard there are as many as 21 to 31 shots per tx.  How many did you receive?  It may be more or less depending on the treatment.  

       

      Glad you got throught it well and are feeling well.  Sorry the shots were painful, but that is only a small part of the overall tx, so I hope it lasts.  How long until your next series?

       

      I am so interested in this because I am really looking at this for my next step since nothing else seems to be an option for me.

       

      I hope some pain free days are ahead for you!  Keep writing us as much as you can.  Many Thanks, 

       

       

    • Anonymous
      Gibbs12
      Feb. 16, 2012

      My 17 year old daughter, who has suffered from first cyclical vomiting and then abdominal and head migraines for 5 years and had all of the MRIs and testing to rule out other causes. She was given botox injections, while still hospitalized after an IV of DHE to break her last migraine.  Her neurologist took a lot of time to pin point...

      RHMLucky777

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      My 17 year old daughter, who has suffered from first cyclical vomiting and then abdominal and head migraines for 5 years and had all of the MRIs and testing to rule out other causes. She was given botox injections, while still hospitalized after an IV of DHE to break her last migraine.  Her neurologist took a lot of time to pin point her areas of pain and sensitivity on the face head and neck, and showed the nurses how and where to stick her while she made grimaces and made that nerve over the top of the nose bulge out! (Hers is quite pronounced when she grimaces.) She went home from the hospital and in about 5-6 days, her pain was gone, and she was totally migraine free for over 3 months.  She has now started to have a few headaches and will definitely go back for another round when they come back full force. Her neurologist said he found it worked for about 50 percent of his pediatric patients and often the more they had, the longer they could go in between treatments.  He also said you can't have botox sooner than 3 months because you can build up antibodies to the botox, and he used tiny special order needles.  She said it hurt a little but nothing compared to the migraine pain she was suffering. It was a Godsend to us because none of the migraine drugs ever worked for her (and she tried them all) and her migraines would often last weeks until steroids or hospitalization.  She would be bedridden in a dark, quiet room and was missing out on teenage life! I would recommend trying it.

    • Nancy Harris Bonk
      Health Guide
      Feb. 19, 2012

      Thanks for letting me know, Suies. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that you feel the effects of Botox  very soon!   

  • Tired of Head Pain
    Feb. 14, 2012

    This is something I am considering doing, so I will be interested in hearing how they work for you.  I am running out of options for tx.  I have 1 triptan that works for me, and I don't like taking opiods.  I am waiting on line for an app't for a new neuro headache specialist, but am not expecting he will tell me much that I have not heard before....

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    This is something I am considering doing, so I will be interested in hearing how they work for you.  I am running out of options for tx.  I have 1 triptan that works for me, and I don't like taking opiods.  I am waiting on line for an app't for a new neuro headache specialist, but am not expecting he will tell me much that I have not heard before.  I have not tried Botox, so it is an area I am interested in.  Please post what happens every couple of weeks if you can, so we can all get a sense of what this does.  Thanks and good luck!

  • Tired of Head Pain
    Feb. 14, 2012

    This is something I am considering doing, so I will be interested in hearing how they work for you.  I am running out of options for tx.  I have 1 triptan that works for me, and I don't like taking opiods.  I am waiting on line for an app't for a new neuro headache specialist, but am not expecting he will tell me much that I have not heard before....

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    This is something I am considering doing, so I will be interested in hearing how they work for you.  I am running out of options for tx.  I have 1 triptan that works for me, and I don't like taking opiods.  I am waiting on line for an app't for a new neuro headache specialist, but am not expecting he will tell me much that I have not heard before.  I have not tried Botox, so it is an area I am interested in.  Please post what happens every couple of weeks if you can, so we can all get a sense of what this does.  Thanks and good luck!

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