How Can Botox Help Migraines?

June 18, 2021 | Brain and Spine Specialists

Whether they develop earlier in life or later, on average, migraines affect nearly 12 percent of Americans each day. Though there are several environmental and lifestyle factors that can trigger a migraine, some individuals – such as women, those with a family history of migraines, and those with other medical conditions – are more likely to be affected by them than others. While there is currently no known cure for these episodes, there are treatment options that focus on relieving symptoms and even preventing future migraines. For those individuals experiencing 15 or more headaches per month, Botox is an FDA-approved treatment offering relief to many patients across the country.

Where is Botox injected for migraines?

Treatments for migraines are administered with very small needles that inject botulinum toxin into the muscles under your skin. The specialist administering the injections should create an individualized treatment plan based on your unique anatomy and points of pain. You can expect the treatment to last a little less than half an hour as it typically involves 31 injections in seven key areas. Injections can be focused in areas such as the forehead, temples, back of the head and neck, or can be targeted at the origin points of the patient’s pain, also known as trigger points.

How long does it take for Botox to work for migraines?

It may take four weeks or more after treatment before you see a reduction in the frequency of your migraines, and more than one set of injections may be needed. Realistically, it can take up to six months, or two to three treatments, to see the maximum benefit from Botox injections. The good news about that is that you can continue your regular medication with no drug interaction. Overall, the more treatment cycles you receive, the further the benefit increases. While one treatment lasts for 10-12 weeks, patients have reported that two Botox treatments reduced their number of headache days by approximately 50 percent.

Are there side effects of Botox for migraines?

When the injections are administered by an experienced and qualified healthcare specialist, Botox treatments are known to be relatively safe. Women who are nursing or pregnant should avoid these injections, as well as those individuals that are allergic to proteins in cow’s milk. Some patients more sensitive to the injections may experience mild symptoms such as pain, bruising, or swelling of the injection site, headache or flu-like symptoms, dry or watering eye, drooping eyelid, eyebrow, or side of the mouth, or drooling. Although very rare, you should immediately contact your doctor if you experience vision problems, muscle weakness, trouble speaking or swallowing, inability to control the bladder, or difficulty breathing. Overall, the risk of using Botox injections to treat and manage chronic migraines is very low.

Will my insurance cover Botox for migraines?

Because Botox is FDA approved for treating chronic migraines, your insurance could be saving you anywhere from $300 to $600 per treatment. Though most insurance companies like to make sure at least two or more preventative treatments have been tried and failed before allowing Botox injections, this type of treatment is covered by most plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.

It is important to note that before scheduling an appointment to receive Botox® injections, you will need to verify that your insurance is accepted by our specialty pharmacy. After authorization is granted, the pharmacy can ship the medication to our Brain and Spine office where it is stored until your appointment.

Call our office today or visit to see which insurance plans we accept!