NYU Langone doctors may recommend injections of botulinum toxin—commonly known by its trade name, Botox®—as a preventive therapy for people with chronic migraines that do not improve with the use of medication.
Botox® is a purified protein made from a type of bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. Research has shown that Botox® can prevent migraines from occurring in adults when injected into specific areas of the head and neck. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of chronic migraines.
Your doctor may inject Botox® into the bridge of the nose, forehead, temples, back of the head, neck, and upper back above the shoulder blades. The treatment takes about 15 minutes, and most people can return to their daily activities immediately afterward.
It can take as long as two to four weeks after the initial treatment to notice improvement in the frequency and severity of migraines. Results can last for 10 to 12 weeks, or sometimes longer. Most people receive Botox® treatments every three months for a year or more, until their migraine symptoms ease.
For some people, migraines may go away completely over time. For others, Botox® injections can be a long-term treatment option.