Botox May Offer New Hope for Young Migraine Sufferers

From Drugs.com - October 27, 2017

Botox May Offer New Hope for Young Migraine Sufferers

FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 2017 -- Botox injections may help bring relief to children suffering from migraines, a small study suggests.

Botox (botulinum toxin) appears to reduce the frequency of migraines and shorten the length of episodes when they do occur, while also diminishing migraine pain.

At the moment, Botox is only approved as an adult migraine treatment. And the new findings are based on testing among just nine children, aged 8 to 17.

But the results raise hope that a new alternative therapy for pediatric migraines is on the horizon, given that only a single preventive migraine medication -- topiramate -- is currently approved for the treatment of adolescent patients.

"When children and teens have migraine pain, it can severely affect their lives and ability to function," said study author Dr. Shalini Shah, chief of the division of pain medicine at the University of California, Irvine,

"They miss school, their grades suffer and they are left behind, often unable to reach their full potential," she added explained in an American Society of Anesthesiologists' news release. "Clearly, there is a need for an alternative treatment for those who have not found relief.

Shah said that after treatment with Botox, "we saw improvement in functional aspects in all of the children and teens. In fact, one patient was hospitalized monthly for her migraine pain prior to Botox treatment and was expected to be held back in school. After treatment, she only has one or two migraines a year, and is excelling in college."

The study team said that prior to Botox injections, the participating patients experienced migraines between roughly eight and 30 times per month.


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