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Saturday, April 18, 2009 please help me, Community Member, asks

Q: botox and insurance

botox and insurance, has anyone tried this for their headaches, and did it work, also did your insurance cover it, it is going to be my next step after so many failed attempts at other things

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Answers (8)
Nancy Harris Bonk, Community Member
4/19/09 3:47pm

Hi please,


I'm going to refer you to another question that Teri answered. You can find it here: Botox.


Seeing a Migraine specialist may be the next step for the right diagnosis and preventive medication paln. Your neurologist may be a fine doctor, but it's difficult for him to be an expert in any one area because he treats so many different conditions like MS, epilepsy, stroke and Parkinson's. A Migraine specialist treats one area - ours Migraines and headaches. This article has more information: Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? To find a specialist, look at our patient recommended specialist list HERE


Good luck


tutorjanice, Community Member
4/20/09 1:01am

I have good insurance; United Health Care PPO and they turned me down flat as "experimental".  One thing that helped me was BioFeedback, which insurance did cover.


Good Luck and don't give up-you have to keep trying new things.

Reply, Community Member
7/ 7/09 2:19am

My son who is thirteen years old just did a series of 6 sessions of biofeedback.  This was not helpful for him.  He has a headache every day like my husband.  The severity of their headaches vary day to day.  The headaches seem to be weather related.  We need to try four more medications before we try botox.  He has been on several different medications since he was in first grade and now he will be going into seventh grade.  It has been very painful for him.

Sue, Community Member
4/23/09 11:32am

I had the Botox injections for daily migraine headaches.  It didn't do a thing to stop them.  My Blue Cross/Blue Shield did pay for it bless their hearts.  I guess it helps some people and not others.  But anything is worth a try.  My own thoughts are that the Botox shots may help with tension headaches because it relaxes the muscles.  Or since I usually need the maximum or higher dose of anything to get it to work,  maybe they just didn't give me enough.  By the way, it's not all that painful to get them.

Barbara, Community Member
5/ 8/09 7:34am

Sue, I have been paying out of pocket thru a cosmetic surgeon for my botox injections because I didn't know that my insurance (BC/BS) would pay for it.  I have been treated for tension migraines since childhood and I am now 45. I am getting ready to go to my neurologist in a few weeks who is authorized to give botox injections, anything I need to know to get the insurance company to approve this rather than me paying another $500.  I have truly found that this has helped me and I would like to continue with the injections, but if my insurance can help with the payments rather than me paying $500 that would be great.  I strictly had the procedure done for migraine relief only.

Sue, Community Member
5/ 9/09 11:15am

I'm so glad that it is helping you.  That's what I guessed that it might help tension headaches because of the muscle relaxation.  Unfortunately relaxing the blood vessels which seem to be the culprits in Migraine doesn't happen.  It may be just the the policy and through whom you get it that limits the payments.  I was astounded when they paid mine.  I had to first pay out of pocket and then BC/BS paid the providers after all and I haven't been able to collect from them.  Mine was $1,400 because they went all the way around my head.  Good luck getting it covered.

Teri Robert, Health Guide
5/ 9/09 1:56pm



Preventives, including Botox, are meant to prevent our bodies from reacting to triggers and making a Migraine attack occur.


I think you may be a bit confused about the role of the blood vessels. The blood vessels have nothing to do with triggering a Migraine, thus that's not part of prevention. What occurs with the blood vessels occurs after the Migraine begins, as a symptom of the Migraine. So, they're not really the culprit, but one of the victims. Also, the problem isn't with them constricting; it's with them dilating. They only constrict for a fraction of a second; then they diliate. That's why one of the symptom relieving actions of Migraine abortive medications is vasoconstriction.


Does this make sense and help?


Reply, Community Member
7/ 7/09 2:29am

Are your migraines weather related?  My husband and son can get headaches at the same time, along with my mother-in-law next door.  They get migraines before a rain/snow storm, change in temp. of about 20 degrees, etc.  Is any of this familiar to you?  We have four more medications to try before my son will get to try botox.  He has been on about six medications in the last 5 years.  Do you have any thoughts for us?

Teri Robert, Health Guide
7/ 7/09 8:39am



Yes, some of my Migraines ARE triggered by weather changes. I have other triggers as well -- messed up sleep patterns, too much sun, crying, flying, and a couple of others. When we found a preventive regimen that works for other triggers, I found that I also have fewer Migraines when the weather changes.


I know of a few people whose doctors have prescribed Diamox for them to take when they know a weather front is coming through, and it prevents many of their Migraines.


Good luck,


Reply, Community Member
7/ 8/09 12:15am

Thank you, I will look into that.  Right now it is storming pretty bad.  My son put himself to bed about 3:30 because of his headache and is still sleeping at 11:00.  My husband's headache is pretty bad right now but it started last night.  I will continue to try to do research to help the two boys I love!  Maybe someday we can have a "normal" life and we can follow through with the activities that we have planned.

Thank you again,


Teri Robert, Health Guide
7/ 8/09 10:18am



You're very welcome.If you'd like some additional support, come join our discussion forum. You'll need to register again once there because it's a separate membership database, but you can use the same member name, email address, and password that you used here. You can find our forum at


If their doctor is out of ideas, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It's important to note that neurologists aren't necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.




Reply, Community Member
7/ 8/09 11:42pm

Both my husband and son have seen Dr. Freitag from the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago.  My husband's mom had severe migraines after she had her hysterectomy.  She went to this clinic for years.  Matt, my husband, and Tommy who is 13, my son started going about five years ago.  Their medication never did help my husband.  Tommy did get a little relief, but it has come back worse now for about the last two years. My husband is wait for us to find something to help Tommy first because health care is so expensive.

  Tommy has been on been to

Diamond Headache Clinic

Pediatric Neurologist in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Chiropractic, Kinesiology & Acupuncture doctor in Akron, IA- this doctor used             " zappers" in which Tommy held them varying in for different amounts of times, sometimes hours.  Tommy would go there with a horrendous headache and leave feeling wonderful.  Other times he went with a headache and left with a headache.

Mayo Hospital in Rochester, MN-  Tommy has been there now two times since Feb. 09.  Tommy has four more medications to try before trying Botox.  I have been doing some reading on the internet.  It seems like it is chancy to try this and have it work.


I will look into that group you were talking about.

Thank you for your time,


Denise Garrett, Community Member
7/27/10 9:36pm

For me Botox has been 1-week now. I've not had a migraine for 2 days in a row. That's fairly good for me. There's a few times in the day, I felt like I was starting to get one, but it didn't come on. So, I think there is something to say about Botox helping. I also went to a Neurologist to get them. I didn't find any releif when the cosmetic surgeon put them in my forehead. But........the Neuorlogist I found close to me, put them in different areas. Top of forehead. Across the eyebrows, behind the ears (in head) and across the back of lower head and few in the neck area. I do have neck pain. However, I have bad neck pain anyway. I usually get injections, and just haven't had them in at least 6 months. So, my neck has really, really been hurting. The crazy thing insurance will pay for the treatment if the Diagnosis code is Cervical Spasms. , or similiar to Cervical dysonia, (neck not being able to move), I do have all these things, and my pain management doctor has the records, that I sent to insurance. But..........I believe it's a hard fight to win right now. Also, the doctors like the money.  What I mean is, they may not get paid that amount from insurance companies. I only know this because I was a biller/collector for 10 years and there are contracts with certain insurances, and therefore, the Provider(doctor, or place of service) has to accept a certain fee, for certain codes. So, good luck to anyone else, and let me know if it is working for you!!:)

frannytal, Community Member
4/23/09 3:55pm

Botox has helped me 90%. It is a miracle drug for me. Unfortunately, blue cross has turned me down so far. I am going to try and appeal. They are very expensive and I can't keep getting them without help.

silvermoon, Community Member
4/23/09 11:05pm

I tried botox and Blue Cross/Blue Shield covered the treatment as the neurologist I was working with wrote a letter to them explaining all the previous interventions that have been attempted without success.  Unfortunately, the botox did not work and I continue to experiment with various medications that have not alleviated my migraines.  Good luck....I believe it's worth a try, especially if your insurance is willing to assist.

Pat, Community Member
2/24/10 10:15pm

I suffered from Miagraines for 42 years. Completely dibiltating. I do not know how I raised a family. I have tried everything. I have been to the top Dr. at UCSF years ago. Tried every  med possible. Five years ago a Plastic Surgeon talked me into trying Botox for miagraine. I cannot tell you how this has changed my life. I just wish I knew about it at a younger age. For the first time In my life I know what life is all about. It works so great for me,  my husband of 40 years can not believe the differenc either. I have the injections about every 4months. I believe you have to have the correct Dr. I have friends that have tried it now and one in particular thinks it is just amazing. She now functions also. No Insurance does not cover it.I cannot go without. I cannot go back to all that pain, vomiting, blindness and no cognitive thinking. Thank God for Botox

JennMigraine, Community Member
6/ 8/10 5:26pm

Depends on how much your migraines cost.  I have Blue Shield and is case-by-case approval process with them.  If you treat at home, may not be worth the cost for them, but every 30 days, I go to Urgent Care for narcotics and phenergan to get me through the wait at the ER, where I receive a magnesium sulfate IV.  Blue Shield gave me a case manager, a new neurologist, and a new primary care, and approved Botox for me (23 shots every four months). It was successful after the first treatment...a miracle!

scrock, Community Member
6/28/12 7:39pm

Hey everyone,


I am reporter for ABC 6 News and I'm doing a story on severe migraines. Mainly, because I have been suffering from these since I was a kid. I have gotten botox and have been on nearly every medication you can try. Are any of you from the Minnesota area and would like to share your story? If so, email me at



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By please help me, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/28/12, First Published: 04/18/09