Chronic Migraines

Whether caused by tension, sinus congestion, caffeine cravings or any of countless other triggers, a headache can dampen a good day. One of the most intense forms is the migraine, so intense that nausea and vomiting are not uncommon, and light or the slightest noise can trigger additional, excruciating waves of pain.


What is Chronic Migraine?
A small number of migraine sufferers—about 1 in 50 worldwide—lives with chronic migraine in which they experience more than 15 migraine headaches per month, half of which last four hours or longer. For them, even the best preventive medications or pain-relieving drugs often are not enough.

Risk Factors for Chronic Migraine
Some risk factors associated with chronic migraine include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Other pain disorders
  • Obesity
  • Asthma
  • Snoring
  • Stressful life events
  • Head/Neck injury
  • Caffeine
  • Acute medication overuse
  • Persistent, frequent nausea


Treatment
Treatment of chronic migraine is similar to that of episodic migraine with a few notable exceptions. Treatment should consist of:

  • Acute medications for use at onset of a headache attack to try to break it. Limitation on number of uses of acute medications is important to try to avoid medication overuse and risk of medication overuse headache.
  • Preventive medications to help reduce the frequency and severity of headache attacks. Currently, Onabotulinumtoxin A (Botox) is the only FDA-approved preventive treatment for chronic migraine. Preventive treatments used for episodic migraine such as anti-seizure medications (Example: Depakote, topiramate), antidepressants (Example: amitriptyline, venlafaxine) and blood pressure medications (Example: propranolol) may also be used for chronic migraine prevention.
  • Non-medication preventive treatments including biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Addressing risk factors such as depression, anxiety, snoring, obesity, etc.


Treating Chronic Migraine with Botox
Botox injection was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2010 as a preventive treatment for chronic migraine. It is typically given to patients who do not respond to conventional preventive medications and may prevent headaches and migraines before they even start.


The Botox injections themselves, which patients have likened to a brief and tiny pinch on the skin, are administered into specific head and neck muscles. The procedure takes about 15 minutes and can be repeated every 12 weeks.


Clinical trials have found chronic migraine patients treated with Botox experienced eight or nine fewer headache days per month. Just as important, their headaches are less severe, allowing them to live more functionally and with a better quality of life.


Botox Treatment for Chronic Migraine Available in Monroe
Botox injection treatment is now available in the Monroe area to treat chronic migraine.


Darshan Patel, MD, board-certified in family and geriatric medicine at St. Francis Medical Group, administers FDA-approved medicine Botox—the same medication used for cosmetic treatment—to reduce the frequency and duration of migraines.


If you suffer 15 or more headache days per month, more than half of which are migraines that last four hours or more, contact Dr. Patel at St. Francis Medical Group to find out if Botox injection therapy is right for you.

(318) 966-6575

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