To Botox or not to Botox? That is the question on the minds of many chronic migraine patients, particularly in light of Allergan‘s recent loss of a $212 million Botox lawsuit filed by a man in Virginia who claimed that Botox injections caused side effects such as brain damage. Other harmful side effects attributed to Botox include headaches and neck pain.
Ever since Botox became approved by the FDA as a treatment for migraines, chronic migraine headache sufferers have been lining up to receive their bi-monthly Botox headache pain relief. But reviews are mixed; while many migraine patients and other chronic pain sufferers have found their pain symptoms diminished, a growing number of Botox patients report their pain symptoms actually worsening, complaining of increased headaches and neck pain, in addition to respiratory infections and muscle loss.
Botox is poison
Botox, known as OnabotulinumtoxinA, and previously referred to as Botulinum Toxin Type A, is essentially a poisonous chemical which has the ability to paralyze muscle tissue upon injection. Plastic surgeons have been using it successfully to reduce the effects of aging and to treat muscular disorders such as involuntary hand clenching. One life-threatening risk of receiving regular Botox injections is rare, yet plausible: botulism, caused by the spread of the Botulinum toxin from the injection site to the rest of the body.
Side effects associated with frequent Botox injections include:
- Headaches- 11%;
- Neck pain- 11%;
- Droopy eyelids- 20.8%;
- Difficulty swallowing- 19%;
- Vertical misalignment of the eye- 16.9%;
- Upper respiratory infection- 12%.
- Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, hypertension, nausea, fatigue and dizziness are among symptoms that were observed in 2% to 10% of patients.
- Allergic reactions such as hives, wheezing, rash and swollen throat are also possible side effects.
- Researchers in Canada have also found a correlation between Botox usage and muscular atrophy.
Alternatives to Botox
Prescription and over-the-counter migraine pain medications are hit or miss; they are effective for treating certain migraine patients, while delivering absolutely no relief for others. An increasing number of migraineurs are searching for alternative medications to use as a replacement or addition to pain medications.
Some popular natural methods for managing migraines include:
- Natural ingredients for migraines help to maintain neurological health critical to successful migraine management. They include: butterbur extract, magnesium, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10.
Read more about natural migraine therapy:
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