Chronic migraines are usually defined as:-
- 15 or more headache days a month, of which 8 are migraines
- Headaches last for 4 hours or more
- With at least half of the headaches being migraine
Patients that attend our private clinic will require a letter of diagnosis by their GP or specialist.
A direct referral by the GP or specialist can also be made by emailing our secure email address: [email protected]
Patients can self-refer by emailing [email protected] or arranging phoning our appointment line 0113 221 3533.
A consultation will be completed by a healthcare professional prior to any treatment being given.
Botulinum toxin A injections (Botox®)
An effective and proven treatment available for preventing or reducing the frequency of chronic migraines is the administration of botulinum toxin (Botox®). This was approved for use within the NHS by the national healthcare body NICE for the prevention of headaches in adults with chronic migraine. However, some patients may wish to obtain this treatment on a private basis.
Botox® works by blocking the release of neurotransmitters such as substance P, which causes pain. Also, during a migraine, the muscles can become tense. Botox® relaxes the muscles in the head, which then helps reduce the severity of migraines.
A full consultation is completed with a healthcare professional to assess the suitability of treatment.
Further information on botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections
Who can have botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections?
- Patients with a diagnosis of chronic migraine by their GP or specialist
- Patients who have tried other treatments, which have failed or not been tolerated.
How effective are botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections?
Efficacy should be assessed after 2 treatments given 3 months apart. The trials showed that aftert2 sets of injections, approximately 70% of patients reported an improvement in their symptoms.
After 5 years, approximately 58% of patients suffered from just episodic migraines.
How long will it take to see the effects?
Most patients normally see an improvement within the first week of treatment but it can take up to 2 weeks.
How long does the treatment last?
This can vary between patients but is most often between 3-4 months.
Is the treatment painful?
No the treatment causes little discomfort.
Are there any side effects?
As with all treatment, there can be some adverse effects. Most commonly, these were headaches, muscle aches and pains and injection-site reactions. Most adverse effects resolve within 48 hours and without treatment. The treatment does not restrict you from continuing your usual activities (apart from intensive exercise and the use of excessive heat).
Trials showed that:-
- 3% of patients had an increase in headaches
- 3% of patients had an eyebrow ptosis (‘droop’)
- 7% neck stiffness