Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Saturday, February 06, 2010 willitstop?, Community Member, asks

Q: Does Botox work for migraines? What are the side-effects?

I have tried Topamax (I can't afford the Brand now and the generic does not work) and am now on Nuerontin (300 mg twice a day, although the prescription is for 3 times a day - but the third one triggered the worst headache of my life and horrible nausea for two days.  I went back to 2 a day).  I take Zomig 2.5 mg or 5 mg at times when I get a migraine.


I have been getting migraines (I often wake up with one) anywhere from 5 to 14 times a month for 26 years. 


I need something better because I think the Nuerontin is making me short-tempered and I am gaining weight.  Thanks.

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Answers (8)
Teri Robert, Health Guide
2/ 9/10 2:08pm

-:¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-•*Welcome to MyMigraineConnection!*•-:¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-


Botox does work for Migraine, for some people. As with any treatment, it doesn't work for everyone, and the only way to know if it works for you is to try it. You can red a bit about Botox for Migraine in Intradermal Botox for Migraine, Headache, Pain Disorders.


You can find general information about Botox, including a list of potential side effects HERE.


Please keep me posted on what you do and how you're doing?


Welcome again,


Karma, Community Member
2/ 7/10 1:21am

I hear mixed reviews about the BOTOX.  It seems to work for a certain set of people, and I'm told it builds so the second round might be better than the first.  The jury is still out as far as clinical studies go, but my HA specialist says that publications are in the works to show it is effective.  So right now, insurance won't always cover it.


I tried it and didn't get that much relief.  I can't decide whether to do another round myself.  But, I may have a completely different HA type than you do.  I have chronic daily tension-type that will escalate to migraine, and a few just outright migraines a month.  My doc did the "all-over" BOTOX, over 20 shots all around the forehead, scalp, back of neck, etc.  So he didn't seem to have a target area to go for.  Second specialist said he didn't agree with the all-over approach.  So, there's no real concensus.


Hope you find relief!


willitstop?, Community Member
2/ 7/10 2:54pm

Thank you for the quick reply Cristy. I woke up this morning with a horrible migraine, this time with nausea.  I was trying to avoid taking my Zomig because I have taken it so many times this month.  At 1:30 I gave in and took the Zomig and now am much better.


My migraines are probably hormonal - but also can be triggered by tension.  They always start on one side in the shoulder and work their way up the back of my head and over one eye.  I started the daily preventives because it got to the point that Zomig wasn't working and I was having 15 a month.  At least now I can usually control them, but I don't like the side effects of Topamax and Neurontin and I also think their usefullness may be wearing off somehow.  I may try the Botox if I can afford it.  I am a little desperate.  I hope you find relief, too!  -Judy

Kat, Community Member
11/10/10 11:54pm

Hi Judy, I understand how you feel about taking too many zomig per month.  I take them every day (sometimes two), actually trade off between imitrex and amerge (always keeping 24 hours between different brands).  by doing this i have functioned quite well for the last 15+ years, but they don't seem to be working nearly so well any more.  So I want to try botox too.  I sure hope it works.  Best of luck to you too!  Kat

Lt924, Community Member
4/28/11 8:44pm

Botox.....I am on my third treatment. I suffer from severe migraines. I have between 15 and 20 per month. Without imitrex, I would not be able to function. I decided to try Botox, because my doctor was concerned I was consuming too much imitrex. 


I started last year. The first time I received the treatments, it cut my migraines from 20 down to about 5. I was elated. As the migraines started to increase, I went back and received my second round. During the second round, the migraines did not decrease as I hoped. I just received the 3rd round. I am about a week into, and so far, so good. My Doctor injected me in different locations this round. Four injections in the front of my head, 4 injections in the back of my head. My fingers are crossed. I would say, there has been relief.


Everyone will respond differently. My hope is that my migraines are reduced significantly.


I hope this helps. Give it a try. 

samantha davidson, Community Member
4/11/13 11:33am

i just got my first botox injections yesterday and afterwards my head hurt alot so i took some bayer and that kicked it but then i woke up this morning with a really bad headache hjavent had one this bad in a while and stiff neck. did you h ave these same side effects and if so how long until they went away and the botox started to kick in and work??


thank you!

Lt924, Community Member
4/11/13 6:02pm

Hi Samantha,


Some good news with the bad....I started a new botox treatment therapy with the Headache Center at Jefferson Hospital. The therapy required approximately 15 to 20 injections in my head and neck. The good news is that it has significantly reduced the amount of headaches I've had over the past 6 months. The bad news, is that it is never fun to receive 20 injections in the head. I woulndnt describe it as painful, but it is extremely uncomfortable. I much prefer the botox injections and being uncomfortable for 10 minutes, than 20 migraines a month.


The botox took approximately 10 days to kick in before it started to reduce the volume.  I did not have any side effects from the injections.



Katinthecorner, Community Member
11/11/10 10:57am

Like Teri said, Botox works for some people. Just like Topamax, and Neurontin.  Unfortunatley, it takes a fair amount of trial and error to find the right treatment that works for you.


The FDA just approved Botox for the treatment of Chronic Migraine, defined as 15 or more days with head aches lasting more than 4 hours.  So if you fall into that diagnostic category, your insurance may cover it.  The FDA change was made on 10/15, so it will take time for your insurance to catch up. 


From your post though, you've only tried two preventives.  There are over 100 medications used "off label" for migraine prevention, so don't give up!  You still have lots more to go, and I know it's a frustrating process of side effects, and waiting, but you'll get there. 


Good luck

Marie93, Community Member
1/ 7/11 2:22pm

I've had debilitating migraines my whole life. I've been through every form of daily pill (including Neurontin which also made me gain weight & feel spacey all the time) and abortive medication possible and just finished my 2nd round of Botox treatment. I was very hopeful, but have been very disappointed so far. For some reason, it seems like my nausea isn't quite as bad, but the pain is still unbearable, it just seems to be in different locations than before. It's covered by my insurance, so I'll keep going to see if it really does start to improve, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go this route after what I've experienced.  It does work great for some people though. It's been FDA approved as a migraine treatment, so insurance should cover at least part of it now


The best abortive drugs I've tried have been Maxalt (which is great if you get sick during a migraine since it comes in a tablet that dissolves) and Relpax. 

Lefty, Community Member
9/16/11 10:00pm

I've had migraines for 25 yrs and over time, the frequency and severity have increased to the point that they are now chronic and debilitating. I am on disability at not even 40 years old. I've taken every kind of medicine my doctors can think of with little impact on the migraines. Yesterday, I got my first round of botox. All I can tell you is that was the worst pain ever! If I don't get some fantastic results, I will definitely not be going back for a second round. I just don't see how it's worth going through that. Good luck to everyone else.


Robin, Community Member
11/ 4/12 8:00pm

I started getting migraines at 12 years old, I am now 47 years old. My miraines have only got worse, I thought I was the only one out there. I am so un happy. Everyone in my family tell me when I get older they will get betterand they haven't, I feel so blessed to have seen your letter.

I am stilltrying everything.

bwalker, Community Member
9/18/11 7:42pm

I have a headache everyday, they are non-stop. They cause nausea, pressure, pain, quite debilitating. It affect my daily life, walking my dog or even cooking dinner is difficult. I have a migraine about every week. They cause extreme pain, extremely photophobic, bothered by noises, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, painful just to get out of bed.Eight months ago in VAI had several botox injections at one sitting (across forehead, temples into hairline, many around head, down into my neck & shoulders. Within a few hours my headache was gone. I did not have a headache or a migraine for about 6 months. EXTREMELY WORTH every stick!!! After about 5-6 months I began to get mild headaches on/off. Now 9 months later ALL symptoms are back. Unfortunately I am no longer in VA and having trouble finding a neurologist that will perform the injections. I am in New Orleans, Louisiana. I had all records sent to my neurologist here in LA which states the only solution is botox for my migraines/headaches. But instead he started over with trying me on the medications (including pain meds) and an occipital nerve block (again and extremely painful) which in my records shows DOES NOT work. So now, several hundreds of dollars later of expensive med's, ECG's, EKG's, MRI's, OC Nerve Block he is considering performing botox. Why not sooner? I should have already changed to another doctor, but I have all the money and time invested at this office. I am also trying to locate a neurologist that performs these injections regularly. A cosmetic surgeon &/or botox certified doctor CANNOT perform these injects in the needed/correct places. So, my answer is YES, BOTOX has worked for me.

Jaime, Community Member
5/ 2/12 11:27pm
I had Botox injections 3 weeks ago. I suffered from daily tension headaches and hormonal migraines, with non-hormonal ones sneaking in more frequently lately. To date, my daily headaches are gone and I am weening myself off my daily meds, Topamax, Nortriptlyne and Singular. They felt I got hit worst during seasonal changes as well as hormonally (Frova was amazing for the hormonal ones but too expensive). I no longer have the pressure in my forehead and on the sides of my head however I do have additional neck/shoulder pain. I use to have a constant pain at the base of my skull like a knife was constantly lodged and the shots helped, but because my muscles are so tight now I have other muscles compensating and causing me discomfort. Sadly there is nothing they can do until my next round in 3 months. I hope you find relief. ~Jaime Reply
Tina P, Community Member
4/19/13 2:08pm

I have been prescribed many medications over I think about 26 years, meds to try to prevent migraines, ones at onset of migraine, and others to try to relieve them once full blown. I also went through physical therapy on my neck and back. I seen a chiropractor as well.  Nothing has helped me.  My insurance, after proving we had tried most all options, finally approved for me to get the botox injections.  I got my 1st set of injections on March 18th, just over a month ago.  The anxiety of waiting to get the procedure, not knowing exactly what to expect, and when entering the room and seeing the needles and everything laid out on the counter scared me, so in the middle of the doctor inserting the needle multiple times, I experienced a major panic attack. I started crying and having trouble breathing and my heart racing.  The pain really was not that bad it was mostly just my nerves I think that got me all worked up and after I calmed down I was able to finish getting the rest of the injections. So far I have not seen any real difference in the amount of migraines I get, the severity of them, or the length of time they last. I am having pain in my neck as some of the others had posted, that's the only side affect I have had.  I see my neurologist on the 30th of this month to review and I will definitely try the botox again 2 or 3 more times as some people posted that is when they found improvement. The 1/2 hour or so of discomfort from the pokes and pain in the neck would definitely be worth not having my migraines and I pray that eventually this will help because I don't know what - if any - other procedures there are that I have not had yet and my children inherited the migraines and if this works for me then there may be help for them....

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By willitstop?, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/20/14, First Published: 02/06/10