How Are Botox Injections Used for Migraine

Written By: Dr. Anas Abdul Majee

Dr. Anas Abdul Majeed is a Consultant in the Department of Neurology at the Medcare Hospital, Al Safa. He obtained his MBBS from the Govt Medical College under The University of Kerala and his MD (Internal Medicine) from the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, in India.

Updated On:May 13, 2024

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Botox Injections Used for Migraines

You might be wondering if there is anything you can do to avoid migraine headaches if you have been diagnosed with migraine and experience them frequently. Adults with severe migraines are given the go-ahead to use Botox given that they have a history of migraines and that their headaches (including tension-type headaches) that persist for four hours or more each day 15 or more days out of the month.

What is Botox? 

The bacterium Clostridium botulinum produces the neurotoxic known as Botox. If you consume it from rotten food, Botox stops impulses from your nerves and paralyzes your muscles, which can result in a fatal response known as botulism. 

However, when injected, Botox is harmless since the poison is not absorbed in the stomach and the dose is considerably lower than what you would get from contaminated food.

Because Botox relaxes facial muscles, doctors have discovered that it can help reduce wrinkles. It also benefits patients with tics and spasms brought on by several neurological conditions.

When using Botox to reduce wrinkles, migraine sufferers reported to their doctors that their migraines had improved. Doctors thus started researching Botox’s impact on migraine treatment.


How does Botox Injections for Migraines Work?

There is evidence that Botox blocks the method through which pain is sent from the spinal cord to the brain through the central nervous system.

Essentially, your body releases chemicals linked to pain and compounds known as neurotransmitters when you experience a migraine. These compounds are generally transmitted where the nerves and muscles converge, but botulinum toxin obstructs their movement. The medicine is injected into the muscles of the face, neck, and head, where it is believed to be absorbed by the neurons and disrupt pain-related neurotransmission.

Expectations After Administering Botox Injections for Migraines 

A specialist administers botulinum toxin using a very thin needle to the tiny muscles under your skin in numerous locations all across your face, head, and neck.

Your forehead, temples, and the back of your head and neck may all receive injections. The doctor may provide injections to "trigger points" where headache discomfort sometimes starts.

The particular anatomy and pain origin locations of each patient should be respected in these chronic migraine therapies.

Before you begin to get relief from your migraines, it may take many weeks and several treatments. Some people discover they may stop using injections without experiencing regular migraines once more. Others require ongoing therapy to keep migraines under control.

Injectables have been shown to be successful in lowering the frequency of headaches in those with chronic migraines as well as the crippling effects brought on by these migraines.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Botox Injections for Migraines

Botulinum toxin injections should be avoided by those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a protein allergy to cow's milk.

Botulinum toxin injections can be administered by a trained and experienced healthcare professional with a low risk of adverse effects. However, where the medicine was injected, some patients feel discomfort, bruising, or swelling. Additional negative consequences include:

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Headache

  • Irritated or dry eyes

  • One eyelid, one brow, or one side of the mouth drooping

  • Drooling

Very occasionally, other, more severe symptoms might develop over the course of hours or days if the drug mistakenly travels throughout your body. Contact your physician immediately if you experience

  • Being unable to control one's bladder

  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking

  • Having trouble breathing

  • Muscle tremor

  • Vision issues

In conclusion, one method of treating persistent migraines is using botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, treatments, which have been shown to be successful in clinical studies. If your physician finds that you suffer from recurrent migraines, you could be a candidate for this type of treatment. Nonetheless, the use of additional drugs and a change in lifestyle may be advised. Neurologists and headache specialists offer a wide range of treatments for treating persistent migraines, including botulinum toxin injectables. While there is no one solution that works best in every situation, a strategy that uses a number of various therapies may lessen the frequency and intensity of headaches.


Binder, W. J., Brin, M. F., Blitzer, A., & Pogoda, J. M. (2002). Botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX) for treatment of migraine. Disease-a-Month, 48(5), 323-335.

Binder, W. J., Brin, M. F., Blitzer, A., Schoenrock, L. D., & Pogoda, J. M. (2000). Botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX) for treatment of migraine headaches: an open-label study. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 123(6), 669-676.

Herd, C. P., Tomlinson, C. L., Rick, C., Scotton, W. J., Edwards, J., Ives, N. J., ... & Sinclair, A. J. (2019). Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis of botulinum toxin for the prevention of migraine. BMJ open, 9(7), e027953.

Ramachandran, R., & Yaksh, T. L. (2014). Therapeutic use of botulinum toxin in migraine: mechanisms of action. British Journal of Pharmacology, 171(18), 4177-4192.

Silberstein, S., Mathew, N., Saper, J., Jenkins, S., & BOTOX Migraine Clinical Research Group. (2000). Botulinum toxin type A as a migraine preventive treatment. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 40(6), 445-450.

Meet our doctors from the Neurology department

Khalid Al-Saffar
MBChB, Diploma in Medicine
Arabic, English, Urdu, Tagalog
Ahmed Ebied
Arabic, English
Anas Abdul Majeed
Arabic, English, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu, Tamil
Ahmad Mansour Abu Alika
MBBS, MD, Masters in Neurology
Arabic, English
Hareth Hamdan
MBBCH, Dip. Clinical Neurology
Arabic, English
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