A recent encounter with one of my headache patients got me thinking. I am treating this young woman for chronic migraine with BOTOX injections. She told me that one of her other physicians had been surprised to hear about this use for onabotulinumtoxin A. According to my patient, the gastroenterologist’s words were, “BOTOX for migraines? I’ve never heard of that.”
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Dubbed as the “little neurotoxin that could,” by USA Today, Botox now boasts sales of well over $1 billion for its manufacturer, Allergan. Many of us who start to see our migraine-furrowed forehead lines show up in our 30s think: hey, maybe Botox for migraine could help me too. But before you say “heck yes!” at the next Botox party or med-spa, be sure you know what you’re getting into.
The recommended dilution is 200 Units/4 mL or 100 Units/2 mL with preservative -free 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP (see Table 1). The lowest recommended starting dose should be used, and no more than 50 Units p er site should generally be administered. An appropriately sized needle (e.g., 25-30 gauge) may be used for superficial muscles, and a longer 22 gauge needle may be used for deeper musculature. Localization of the involved muscles with techniques such as needle electromyographic guidance or nerve stimulation is recommended.
Exploratory analyses of this study suggested that the majority of patients who had shown a beneficial response by week 6 had returned to their baseline status by 3 months after treatment. Exploratory analyses of subsets by patient sex and age suggest that both sexes receive benefit, although female patients may receive somewhat greater amounts than male patients. There is a consistent trea tmentassociated effect between subsets greater than and less than age 65. There were too few non-Caucasian patients enrolled to draw any conclusions regarding relative efficacy in racial subsets.
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The correct way to inject Botox is to always customize the treatment plan to solve the aesthetic issues that bother the person. Some patients need only limited areas injected such as the vertical lines between their brows, their “crow’s feet” at the outer aspects of their eyelids, the “bunny” lines that radiate on the sides of their nose, vertical and horizontal lip lines and rarely patients request a correction of their “gummy” smile where their upper gums show when a person smile. Yes, you usually can pay for specific areas of treatment or by the number of units injected. But if you only want single line or area of your forehead injected you may not be satisfied with the results in the end. Why? -because when Botox or Dysport is injected it will weaken only the muscles that are treated, there may be muscles that were not treated that are pulling in an opposite direction that will produce undesirable results(an example of an undesirable effect occurs when treating just the glabella “11” lines between your eyebrows that may produce an overarched brow contour that resembles Mr. Spock.) Therefore, a complete treatment plan that includes all muscle groups should be treated to balance the pull and counter-pull of facial muscles.In addition, injections around the mouth must be performed by an experienced injector because there is the potential for the mouth to droop afterwards which can cause you to drool or may impact your ability to eat, pucker and smile. These adverse effect may last several weeks.
Study 2 compared 3 doses of BOTOX with placebo and included 91 patients [BOTOX 360 Units (N=21), BOTOX 180 Units (N=23), BOTOX 90 Units (N=21), and placebo (N=26)] with upper limb spasticity (expanded Ashworth score of at least 2 for elbow flexor tone and at least 3 for wrist flexor tone) who were at least 6 weeks post-stroke. BOTOX and placebo were injected with EMG guidance into the flexor digitorum profundus, flexor digitorum sublimis, flexor carpi radialis, flexor carpi ulnaris, and bic eps brachii (see Table 27).
The recommended dose is 50 Units per axilla. The hyperhidrotic area to be injected should be defined using standard staining techniques, e.g., Minor's Iodine-Starch Test. The recommended dilution is 100 Units/4 mL with 0.9% preservative -free sterile saline (see Table 1). Using a sterile 30 gauge needle, 50 Units of BOTOX (2 mL) is injected intradermally in 0.1 to 0.2 mL aliquots to each axilla evenly distributed in multiple sites (10-15) approximately 1-2 cm apart.
The use of Botox for migraines was, like many other new applications for the drug, a kind of happy accident. A Beverly Hills plastic surgeon observed that people who got Botox for wrinkles were reporting fewer headaches, paving the way for studies about migraines. Similarly, doctors in Europe were intrigued when they noticed that their patients who got Botox for facial spasms were sweating less than usual.
The efficacy and safety of BOTOX for the treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis were evaluated in two randomized, multi center, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. Study 1 included adult patients with persistent primary axillary hyperhidrosis who scored 3 or 4 on a Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale (HDSS) and who produced at least 50 mg of sweat in each axilla at res t over 5 minutes. HDSS is a 4-point scale with 1 = “underarm sweating is never noticeable and never interferes with my daily activities”; to 4 = “underarm sweating is intolerable and always interferes with my daily activities”. A total of 322 patients were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio to treatment in both axillae with either 50 Units of BOTOX, 75 Units of BOTOX, or placebo. Patients were evaluated at 4-week intervals. Patients who responded to the first injection were re-injected when they reported a re-increase in HDSS score to 3 or 4 and produced at least 50 mg sweat in each axilla by gravimetric measurement, but no sooner than 8 we eks after the initial injection.
Medicine to help the patient relax may be given in cases where the patient has not handled shots well in the past. If the patient has another procedure coming up, these shots can often be done at this time. Let the Rehabilitation Medicine office (513-636-7480) know if a procedure or surgery will be done in the future or if sedation is being discussed for injections in the clinic setting.
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It is not known whether BOTOX® is safe or effective to treat increased stiffness in upper limb muscles other than those in the elbow, wrist, fingers, and thumb, or in lower limb muscles other than those in the ankle and toes. BOTOX® has not been shown to help people perform task-specific functions with their upper limbs or increase movement in joints that are permanently fixed in position by stiff muscles. Treatment with BOTOX® is not meant to replace existing physical therapy or other rehabilitation that may have been prescribed.