How to be Safe with Botox (10 tips)

Although many people are injected with Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) (botulinum toxin type A) and they never have any significant problems, there have been cases of severe health issues.  

Botox for Migraine Safety
  1. Only receive injections from a professional trained and experienced in using Botox for migraine.  Many problems can be solved simply by visiting someone who knows what they’re doing.
  2. Be sure the doctor knows your medical history.  This includes your experience with migraine, any previous Botox treatments, previous surgeries, any medications you take (including sleeping pills, allergy medication, blood thinners, antibiotics and muscle relaxants) etc.
  3. If you have infection, muscle weakness, or inflammation where you’re going to be injected – wait for another day.
  4. Tell your doctor if you have experienced any side effects from a previous treatment.
  5. Check the ingredients – if you have an allergy to any ingredients in the injections, don’t have the treatment.
  6. Do not start any new medications without telling your doctor that you’ve had Botox treatments in the past.
  7. After the treatment, tell your doctor immediately if you’re experiencing any of these side effects:  itching or rashes, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, drooping eyelids or drainage from your eyes, vision problems (double vision or blurred vision), heart problems or chest pain, muscle weakness or paralysis, loss of bladder control, trouble talking or hoarse voice.  Note that some of these symptoms could appear several weeks after your treatment.
  8. If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks with your doctor.
  9. Be aware that Botox could cause migraine-related symptoms.  These include headache, fatigue, anxiety, and pain in other parts of the body.  Hopefully you won’t experience these symptoms.  However, do discuss the pros and cons with an experienced doctor before starting treatment.
  10. Botox should not be the first treatment you try for chronic migraine.  Look at other options first – not only medications, but also non-drug treatments.  If your doctor recommends Botox treatment when you’ve first been diagnosed, get suspicious and seek a second opinion

Please remember that these are not reasons why no one should ever try a Botox treatment.  As with just about any treatment for migraine, there are pros and cons.  Being aware of them helps you to have the safest and best options without making things worse.

For more, read about Botox headache injections here.
See what Allergan (the makers of Botox) has to say about Botox safety

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10 comments… add one
  • I have just started botox treatments…too early to know if it’s helping

  • chris Mar 28, 2013

    Very important and good post! If you want to ascertain if you have muscle involvement with migraine – your diary well indicate more morning migraines, either waking up with the problem or after washing/showering (automatic use of corrugator muscles to stop water, soap and shampoo into eyes), you will probably have bruxism (waking up with headache/migraine) Botox made me realise that muscle involvement was the major trigger of my migraine and it also made me realise that I needed to find another way to relax my face muscles without botox – this I did – we are in control of our face muscles we just need to learn how to do it. I still have migraine of course but 90% of the last 9 months pain free – no painkillers/triptans – after 30 years of hell 10 of which were chronic.

  • Cary Woodruff Mar 28, 2013

    In a month and a half I will try it. Can’t wait!

  • Mindy May 22, 2014

    Great information. I just received botox injections for migraines two days ago. Had migraine at office. When doctor injected into the right temple area it was really sensitive. But, I could feel a slight relief almost immediately. Some if the areas of injections, 31 in all are a bit tender. Praying for a big relief with the botox. But it is only my first time. Like to here from anyone else who has also just received there first round. Mindy

  • Mike Jun 7, 2014

    Hi Mindy,
    I just had my first series of Botox injections for my migraines about 12 days ago. Other than the slight discomfort of actually getting the needles it was painless. So far I have no relief (I have an ice pack tensor bandaged to my forehead as I type this). My neurologist did say that I may need to have 2 or 3 treatments before I see any results. I am willing to try anything at this point, I also take an antidepressant and was taking tramadol to relieve the headache pain. However my psychiatrist said I should discontinue the tramadol as it could cause seizures with the Effexor. So I stopped. However on the worst of days I take 2 tramacets anyways. I get some relief from the daily pain of the migraines. Now they have switched me to Prozac so hoping to go back on the tramadol when I see the shrink this week. By the way, the Effexor withdrawal is hellish. This drug should be banned as an anti depressant!

  • Debi Jun 10, 2014

    I am going for my 1st round of injections next week. I am excited & nervous! I have suffered w/ migraines for 37 years so any relief will be much welcomed. Any advice on what to expect? The office is about 30 – 40 min from my home, so should I have someone to drive me home (blurred vision)?

  • DesertRosec Aug 15, 2014

    Chris, am curious to know what you did and how please?

  • David Hawkins Mar 24, 2016

    I never realized that there are so many safety precautions to consider when using Botox. I think the best tip on here is the one about only allowing a trusted professional to inject Botox into you. I’ve actually been heavily considering the treatment and I’ll have to make sure I’m following all your awesome tips. Thanks for the great information!

  • Anne Rebecca Randolph Nov 14, 2017

    I have been doing botox injections for about a year! They seem to be helping! I had a fall in Sept. of 2015. Had severe concussion which have caused my headaches./migraine have had headache daily since. Take cymbalta, topamax and just starting tramadol on a as needed basis. My Dr says some injection months are better than others. I do notice relief headaches are not as intense on a daily basis.

  • Callum Palmer Dec 19, 2017

    These are some great suggestions; after all, while botox can be helpful, you want to make sure that it is administered by a professional. Your doctor should have a long, experienced history of giving botox treatment and should know your medical history as well. However, it is also imperative to remember that you need to alert your doctor immediately if you have any problems with the treatment.

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