Migraine sufferers are turning to Botox for relief

Dr. Hong Shin, a neurologist with Kaiser Permanente, talks about using Botox for migraine relief. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Botox has become a popular remedy to fight migraines.

Dr. Hong Shin, a neurologist with Kaiser Permanente, said, "30-40 percent have had a good to excellent response."

Shin said Botox can be injected in about 5-10 minutes in the forehead, temples, sometimes in the back of the head, neck or shoulders -- all depending on where the pain is.

This treatment lasts three to four months and is repeated indefinitely as long as a person has a headache. Because of this, there are some risks to treatment.

"It seems to work for the first two to three months, however I suspect there is a gradual psychological dependence on some people," said Shin.

This type of treatment is relatively new, so the mechanics behind how it actually works is still being figured out.

"We don't know how paralyzing the muscles will improve the pain. There is a theory, but nothing is proven yet," said Shin.

Shin said before treatment, talk to a headache specialist. Also, make sure injections are done by a physician who is using the right form of Botox.

"If it's not a good product, there is a potential for bacteria to be used," said Shin.

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