A report at this year’s annual meeting of The American Society of Anesthesiologists focused on whether or not onabotulinumtoxinA, often sold under the brand name of Botox, is useful in treating migraine in children. As we know, there are a limited number of treatments that have been properly tested for the under-18 crowd.
The report simply reviewed charts of people ages 8-17 who had received Botox treatment to treat chronic migraine. Patients received 2-3 injections each.
The results were very promising. Compared to pre-treatment, almost 3/4 of the patient’s migraine attacks disappeared. The duration of the attacks also dropped drastically, and the attacks tended to be less severe. Read the study abstract here: A Longitudinal Evaluation of the Effectiveness of BotoxÂ® in Pediatric Patients Experiencing Migraines.
There are at least two significant caveats with this report. First, there is a high “placebo effect” with the younger crowd. It would be helpful to compare onabotulinumtoxinA treatments with similar treatments to see if it’s really a lot better or not. One key here is to see what kinds of side effects could be avoided by using Botox instead of another treatment, such as Topamax.
This was also a very small study, only 9 patients. So when we have a study like this, we basically say,”Ok, that sounds significant. Let’s start up a larger study so we can see if these results are real, or just a blip on the chart.”
Even a small study like this should get specialists thinking seriously about using onabotulinumtoxinA for their chronic migraine patients.