September, 25th 2016
Jennifer Guthrie M.D.
What is a migraine…
What is a migraine? This is a question that has plagued the medical community for many years. What we do know is that migraines is a problem with sensory processing creating central nervous system symptoms that varies from patient to patient. While some who suffer from migraines have a genetic link, many have no familial link to this issue. Most people who have migraines have an aura of one sort or another that the migraine is on the way. Many see spots, halo’s or other visual indices while others have more auditory clues of what is to come. During the migraine, pain in differing areas of the cranium and neck is the most common and intense symptom. There are others who have no pain during a migraine but suffer intense nausea and other inexplicable symptoms. No matter what form a migraine comes in, it has the same result; a debilitating issue that takes control over our lives.
What is the application of Botox® in Migraines?
Botox has changed the lives of many people who have dealt with the debilitating effects of migraines. There is strict criteria for Botox to be indicated in migraine treatment and this criteria is 15 or more headache days a month (8 of which must be perceived as severe enough to be a migraine), each headache lasting a minimum of 4 hours. There is only one FDA approved treatment for prevention of migraines and that is Botox. This is different from other treatments because all other treatments are used once a migraine has begun as an acute treatment. Many times it will shorten the duration or minimize the effects of the migraine, but discomfort is part of the process with all other types of treatment. The standard regimen for Botox as a preventative measure for migraines is 155 units of Botox in defined areas on several areas of the head and neck. After the first treatment, the second treatment is done 12 weeks later. Once the effects of these two sessions are analyzed, an individual plan is devised for each patient based on their results. Each session for treatment last only 15 to 30 minutes. On average, Botox prevents 8 to 9 headache days per month, which significantly increases the quality of life in these patients.
What does it Cost?
What is the cost? Most insurance plans cover all or a portion of Botox treatment for documented migraine suffers. Out-of-pocket cost depends upon the insurance company. If you are not insured, you pay per unit of Botox (FDA regiment is 155 units of Botox for treatment), which the price is determined by the provider. If you are interested in talking to me more about Botox treatment for migraines or want more detailed cost information please visit the “contact” section of our website.
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