Calgary Migraine Clinic
Conquer Your Headaches At Our Migraine Clinic
Migraines are headaches that are typically one-sided, throbbing, and debilitating. They can last for hours to days and may be associated with nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances, and sensitivity to lights and sounds. They can often be triggered by weather changes, disruption in sleep patterns, stress, and various foods.
Episodic migraines are those in which headaches happen infrequently, and less than 15 days per month. Migraines become Chronic, when headache days (migraine and non-migraine days) exceed more than 15 days per month. Botox is an effective treatment for controlling migraines that are considered to be chronic. Episodic migraines are treated through other methods.
FOR MIGRAINE RELIEF
Injection sites to the front of the head
Injection sites at the back of the head & shoulders
Injection sites at the side of the head
Our Migraine Clinic Diary
A migraine diary can be integral to tracking the patterns of your migraines across days, weeks, and months. This is especially helpful if a patient wishes to know if their treatments are working, and particularly true for those patients on multiple treatments. Patients that complete a headache diary are asked to bring these with them to their next appointment at our migraine clinic.
EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR
How Does Botox Work?
When used for the prophylaxis of headaches in adults with chronic migraine BOTOX® may act as an inhibitor of neurotransmitters associated with the genesis of pain. The presumed mechanism for headache prophylaxis is by blocking peripheral signals to the central nervous system, which inhibits central sensitization, as suggested by preclinical studies. Effects normally begin about 3 days after injection, peak at 24 weeks and last between 34 months.
Botox is a toxin derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In large quantities it is known for causing botulism, or food poisoning. In extremely small doses it is used as a treatment for conditions associated such as spasticity, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm (including VII nerve disorders), strabismus, dynamic equinus foot deformity, hyperhydrosis and chronic migraine prophylaxis.
Botox is generally well tolerated and side effects are minimal. The discontinuation rate due to adverse events in phase 3 registration trials was 3.8% for BOTOX® vs.1.2% for placebo. The most frequently reported adverse events leading to discontinuation in the BOTOX® group were neck pain (0.6%), muscular weakness (0.4%), headache (0.4%), and migraine (0.4%).
It can take 1-2 weeks for the treatment to take effect.
After treatment, you may experience swelling, redness, pain, itching, discoloration and tenderness at the injection site. This
will typically last for a couple of hours. The use of Tylenol (acetominophen) is permitted. Additionally, although rare, red
or swollen small bumps may occur for 2-3 days. If needed, you may apply make-up after 6 hours of treatment, using very
minimal pressure on your skin.
While effective for reducing migraines, the Botox injection itself can sometimes trigger a migraine. Patients should treat these migraines in much the same way as a typical migraine.
For 1 Hour: Exercise the areas that were treated (eg. Practice
frowning, raising your eyebrows). Try and perform 10 of these movements every 10 minutes
For 3 Hours: Remain upright, do not rub the treated areas.
24 Hours: Refrain from strenuous physical activity, hot tub,
sauna, facials, alcohol or aspirin.
The standard protocol involves 31 injections. Additional units are injected at sites where patients experience pain. The standard injection protocol is often effective on its own.
Botox has only been proven to work for migraine headaches. While patients with other types of headache may describe improvement, this is an ‘off label’ use and hence not covered by insurance plans.
While this is an option, our office has an arrangement with a local pharmacy. Our staff will connect you with a pharmacy agent that will ensure the medication is covered under your insurance plan.
Upon approval from the pharmacy, patients need simply show up for their injection appointment.
Effective Migraine Treatments - Request A Referral From Your Doctor
Botox may not work for everyone. A successful treatment is considered to be a 50% reduction in migraine frequency, duration, and intensity. Some patients may require up to three treatments (90 days apart) before a benefit is realized. Other patients realize the true benefit of the treatment only after the effects of Botox wear off.
Not uncommonly, there are patients that require prophylactic drug treatments taken in conjunction with their migraines. Every patient at our Calgary migraine clinic is different and some patients have quite severe migraines.
Botox for the treatment of migraines is often covered by private insurance plans.
Ask Your Family Doctor For A Referral