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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

Botox May Prevent and Treat Migraine Headaches

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Headache specialists Jack A. Klapper, MD, of Denver, and Ninan T. Mathew, MD, of the Houston Headache Clinic, presented preliminary results from one of those studies -- a trial of Botox vs. placebo in 123 migraine patients -- at both the American Association for the Study of Headache and the American Academy of Neurology meeting earlier this year. They also found that Botox reduced the severity and frequency of migraine for three months.

The FDA has not approved Botox for treatment of migraine so many insurers will not reimburse for the treatments, Binder says. He says that he is currently injecting Botox for migraine, as are Brin and Blitzer. Also he says that several headache centers are offering the treatment. "It costs about $500 to $700 for the initial treatment and $400 to $700 for subsequent treatment," he says. He adds that the cost may be a bargain in some cases because some "migraine patients are paying $1,000 a month for medication."

Binder says that the benefit from injections should last for three to four months and that in his practice he has a patient who has "gone four years without a headache and another who has gone three years. If that is a placebo, that is the greatest placebo ever.

"Even the greatest drug for migraine has a duration of action of three to four hours; this has a duration of action of three to four months. ... If the results of on-going trials continue to pan out like they have in our study, [Botox] is something really major," he says.

 

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