Botox and Quality of Life: Does it really help?

Of course there is no treatment that helps everyone, but another study (published in Neurology) has shown that Botox treatment for migraine does help some – and help them in real ways.

You see, some treatments and medications can really cut down on the number of migraine attacks someone has, and yet not really be worth it – because of the side effects.  So this study set out to check on patients’ "health-related quality of life".  Overall, is their health really better?

1,384 patients were involved in the analysis using a migraine related quality of life questionnaire and the Headache Impact Test (HIT).  Compared to a placebo, the quality of life of migraine patients was significantly improved while taking Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA).

Now, this study was funded by the makers of Botox, which is not unusual, but important to note.  The company has certainly had its ups and downs when it comes to this migraine treatment.

However, this does support other studies and the testimonials of specialists who are treating patients.  And the study was carefully done by well known experts in the field.  Botox certainly seems to be a real help to some, and yet there are still important questions about who will benefit most from treatment and how treatment should be done.  And in spite of the evidence, many insurance companies are still reluctant to cover a treatment which tends to be expensive.

Hopefully studies like this will provide them with the evidence they’re looking for.

The study can be found here: OnabotulinumtoxinA improves quality of life and reduces impact of chronic migraine
via: Botox improves quality of life

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6 comments… add one
  • Erin Nov 10, 2011

    With a series of injections every 3 months for the past year, I’ve gone from an average of 6 migraines a week (yes, almost every single day for at least a few hours), to an average of 4 a week, and the really, really debilitating ones – the ones that send me to the ER – are much fewer and further between. It’s a painful process, but I have a life again. No further improvement, but it’s still way better!!!

  • trent Nov 24, 2011

    I just had my second round of injections, after 3 months and have gone from 2 migraines a week to one every 2 weeks! hallelujah! And the pain when it does come is less severe and of reduced duration. A life changer for sure!

  • Erin Nov 29, 2011

    Trent, I’m so pleased to hear that. I hope that more people can find relief too. I saw a commercial the other day for a website called something like MyChronicMigraine.com. I’m so glad people (not just neurologists) are starting to recognize it as a debilitating disease. The more that happens, the more successes will come forward demanding answers (and promising financial rewards to whomever comes through for us). The botox copay isn’t cheap, but God bless the campanies that have given me my life back!! The love of money may be the root of all evil, but which of us wouldn’t pay to have a life again?

  • Hanne Pinkava Dec 1, 2011

    Botox- injections have been a lifesaver for me. I had severe, complex migraine most everyday. Now every 3month I get my shots and it WORKS!!! More a silent migraine now. It takes away the pain, but not all the other symptoms of migraine.

  • migrainemom4ever Dec 23, 2011

    This is my 3rd round of Botox; the 1st round helped for almost 2 months and what migraines I got were manageable. The 2nd round; the doctor put the injections in other areas, thus it didn’t work at all, 3 long months of nothing but blinding pain. On Nov. 30th I got my 3rd round of injections. My Dr. gave me the maximum dose allowed by the FDA; this time he hit all the areas where I get pain, I have gotten a lot less migraines and they have been manageable. I haven’t had any trips to the ER yet, so that is a hugh plus.

  • Cheryl Mar 24, 2013

    I have been getting Botox injections for migraines off and on for 10 years. Yes, it helps. But it is not a cure all. I still have migraines, but used in conjunction with my other scripts, it makes them less frequent and less intense. You can really tell 6 weeks in, when the medicine is at it’s best. I used to spend $700.00 every 3 months for 70 units. That is a lot of money. Now my insurance covers it, and it is $120.00 every 3 months for 180 units. Do not think you can buy a groupon and see results. You need a minimum of 70 units to see any kind of results, and they need to be administered by a Neurologist or a Cosmetic Surgeon who has studied where to inject it for migraines. Yes, you do get a cosmetic benefit in the forehead, but they won’t put it anywhere else in the face for headaches. This is not something to do on a whim….it is expensive, 40 shots hurt, and you need to keep going every 3 months to get the full benefit.

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