Botox injections can only provide small or at most modest effects in preventing chronic migraine headaches in the most frequent sufferers.
Botox has found a significant place among cosmetic treatments for wrinkles, but in case of migraines, it is no more effective than some of the most commonly used drugs.
Dr. Jeffrey L. Jackson of the Medical College of Wisconsin and colleagues reviewed data of 27 previous studies to compare botox and other chronic headache treatments.
Findings revealed that among chronic sufferers who had at least 15 migraines a month, botox just prevented, on average, about two headaches a month.
The treatment was also found to be less effective in helping patients suffering from chronic tension headaches, says the report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
“The benefit is only a reduction of two to three headaches a month and that’s in people who have a minimum of 15 headaches a month,” said Dr. Jackson.
“So that’s not a large benefit. For people having headaches less than 14 days a month or anyone with a tension headache, it clearly doesn’t work.”
About half of those who received botox also showed side effects during the trials. Patients randomly assigned to receive the injections were 25 percent more likely to report any type of side effects including muscle weakness and neck pain.