Botox for migraines - side effects

Posted , 8 users are following.

I’ve been undergoing Botox for my migraines for about a year & a half. They have helped with the bizarre symptoms I had prior. Stroke like symptoms & have improved the intensity. But the injections are becoming painful. As well as blurred vision episodes after. The droopy eyelids etc. we have adjusted the amount to my forehead significantly but it’s not helping. I have another appointment this week and I’m not sure if the injection pain is worth it. I suck it up & tear through it. Hoping it will help. Last time I had a systematic reaction with severe pain for a couple days, only along the back side of my body. I take loads of Benadryl before & after. Has anyone experienced this. Is it a sign of toxicity or just mad nerves. I’m scared & my options are very limited for other treatments. Any words of wisdom?

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Karen.  Sorry I cannot help but am awaiting my first botox treatment so will follow your thread.

    Have you tried a nerve (GON) block.  That gave me a couple of months off.

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  • Posted

    Hi Karen,

    I’ve had one toy d of Botox and will have my second in late April.  It didn’t do much for me but I’m willing to do the second round.  I have read that others have had bad side effects.  I did notice that my muscles were really tight in my neck and shoulders after my treatment.  I went to massage therapy to try to work out the muscles.  I ended up with a week long migraine after.  I have a feeling that it won’t work for me.

    I have done an occipital nerve block and it made me very sick during the shots but did take away my migraine for a while.  If this next round of Botox doesn’t help I’m going to ask about getting nerve block shots.

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    • Posted

      Heat & massage should not be done after Botox. Or any upper body activity, like housework or lifting. It spreads the Botox to the wrong areas. It’s rule #1. Use ice, rest, & try Benadryl. Usually avoid for 3-4 days. I can’t have a nerve block because, of course, lidocaine makes me crazy! 

      It take 3-5 sessions to see if it works.

      I’m just having severe pain during the injections & blurred vision after. With allergic like reactions. I’m not afraid of needles or pain, but it’s progressively getting intolerable 

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  • Posted

    Hi Karen,

    I don't remember reading that massage wasn't allowed, but I'm glad that you told me.  I get massage therapy every other week to treat my migraines.  It had been about six days after my botox treatment that I went in for the massage.  Do you mean that you have to wait 3-4 days or longer?

    My doctor said that 30% of patients that don't respond to the first treatment will respond positively to the second and only 10% of those respond to a third.  Since I pay out of pocket, I'm only willing to do two and will potentially go back to nerve block shots.

    I'm sorry that I'm not able to respond regarding multiple botox treatments.  I hope that you hear from others, I know that there arre many people other there using botox for chronic migraines.

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  • Posted

    Yes no massage, heat, or upper body work (like lifting or vacuuming) for 3-4 days after treatments. The idea is the Botox targets the nerve clusters they inject into, if you use heat or stress then the Botox leaks from the area & is less effective. Ice and rest. Nothing that vasodilates the area. The neurologist that does my Botox explained it to me on my first session. My close friend does Cosmetic Botox & she tells her clients the same thing. I agree all I want after is a hot bath or massage, but if you think about it all it’s doing is pushing it away from the targets. 

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  • Posted

    Karen, are you in the US or UK?  I ask because my doc wants me to have Botox, but I am not to keen on it.  In the US Botox is very expensive - about $800 - $1000 a treatment. Plus a $60 co-pay each time I go have the shots. 

    The side effects and cost do not seem like it's worth 6-12 less headache days a month.  

    I have told both by GP and my neurologist that what works for my migraines (daily chronic migraines) is 5mg of Valium and an analgesic.I am a teacher and those meds allow me not to miss a day of work. 

    I'm very sensitive to meds and really worried about the Botox treatments. I would appreciate any advice from all of you.

    Thank you,

    Cheryl

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    • Posted

      I’m in the US. Yup it’s expensive, but thankfully our insurance is good. I started having weird migraines. The auras & other symptoms were worse than the pain. I’m super sensitive to meds. Major HTN reaction or other stuff. I was running out of options before I started it. It has helped but it has its own bag of side effects. I have to take Benadryl for days after, my vision gets blurred, and my eyes get puffy. I won’t let him do my forehead anymore. What good is it if you can’t see?! I think he’s mixing the Botox with the wrong saline which causes burning. And my trust in it is fading because my concerns never get an answer. He’s a partner with my neurologist & I think he just thinks it’s quick $$ for him.  

      I’ve tried everything. I’m tired of trying of it.  Trying to find a balance so I can function. The Botox got me out from being completed disabled by the migraines. I was having stroke like symptoms & let’s just say it’s hard to have a normal life when you loose your words, speech slurs, & you are freaked out. But it been close to 2 years on the Botox & I feel like it’s now started a whole new set of problems. To try it you have to give it 3-4 treatments to see if it works. Another year of your life. I guess it depends how you function now? 

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    • Posted

      My opinion would be for you to find a new doctor that treats with Botox.  I do experience some of the side effects as well but it does help with the migraines.    I do feel tolerable pain with the injections, but yesterday I had my 3rd treatment and the pain in my neck is still today there.   Not as bad as last night.

      Your insurance doesn't pay for the treatment?  It took me years to qualify for it but I was done with the side effects of Topamax. 

      Look for a different neurologist or a new migraine specialist.... Good luck... hope you can feel better soon.

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  • Posted

    Hi Karen,

    I have had chronic almost daily migraines for 10 years. Along the way, I've tried Nortriptilne, Topamax, Candesarten, and numerous natural supplements. Sometimes they would work, but the side effects were unpleasant.

    Last December they got to an all time high. I had a continual migraine for about 5 months. My Neuro recommended Botox. I was was pretty desperate and I thought what have I got to lose.. Maybe a few wrinkles along the way.

    I had a very bad reaction to it. Similar to what you're describing. I had an even more intense migraine that started a few days later. My eye lids also drooped. And my vision was labored and blurry.

    My doc encouraged me to try another round, as it takes time for the positive benefits to accumulate. I decided not to.

    I've been using a natural supplement called Plexus for about 6 weeks. And my migraines are at an all time low. Still getting mild headaches but not nearly what I was getting.

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