August 18, 2017

What is Botox?
Botox is a prescription medication. It is a purified protein that is made from a type of bacteria called Clostridium botulinum type A. Although it is made from the bacteria that causes Botulism, not one single case of Botulism has ever been reported in a patient treated with Botox.

What can I expect during my treatment?
The physician will inject the Botox into seven specific areas in the head and neck. There are a total of 31 injections, but since the physician uses a very fine needle, most patients tolerate the procedure well. The procedure typically takes less than 10 minutes.

Am I a candidate for Botox injections?
You are a candidate for Botox injections if:

  • you are at least 18 years of age
  • you have migraine headaches at least 15 days per month and
  • Your headaches last 4 or more hours

How does Botox work?
Although it is not entirely understood how Botox works, one theory is that it decreases the muscle contractions that may act as a trigger for migraines. Another theory is that Botox limits pain by reducing the expression of certain pain pathways of a particular neurovascular system.

How often will I need to repeat the injections?
Botox injections are typically given every 12 weeks.

Can I still take my migraine medications if needed?
Botox is a preventative treatment but may not stop every migraine headache. Therefore, patients are typically allowed to continue their migraine medications, as necessary.

How long does it take Botox to work?
Although some patients experience relief more quickly, it may take 10 – 14 days to begin to notice relief.

Stephen Pociask, MD
Southeast Pain & Spine Care