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Botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX) for treatment of migraine headaches: an open-label study.

Substance P receptor antagonists in the therapy of migraine.

Binder WJ, Brin MF, Blitzer A, Schoenrock LD, Pogoda JM. University of California, USA.
Botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX) for treatment of migraine headaches: an open-label study.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2000 Dec;123(6):669-676


OBJECTIVE: The object of this clinical experience was to evaluate the correlation between pericranial botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX, Allergan Corp, Irvine, CA) administration and alleviation of migraine headache symptoms. Study Design and Setting: A nonrandomized, open-label study was performed at 4 different test sites. The subjects consisted of 106 patients, predominantly female, who either (1) initially sought BOTOX treatment for hyperfunctional facial lines or other dystonias with concomitant headache disorders, or (2) were candidates for BOTOX treatment specifically for headaches. Headaches were classified as true migraine, possible migraine, or nonmigraine, based on baseline headache characteristics and International Headache Society criteria. BOTOX was injected into the glabellar, temporal, frontal, and/or suboccipital regions of the head and neck. Main outcome measures were determined by severity and duration of response. The degrees of response were classified as: (1) complete (symptom elimination), (2) partial > or =50% reduction in headache frequency or severity), and (3) no response [neither (1) nor (2)]. Duration of response was measured in months for the prophylactic group. RESULTS: Among 77 true migraine subjects treated prophylactically, 51% (95% confidence interval, 39% to 62%) reported complete response with a mean (SD) response duration of 4.1 (2.6) months; 38% reported partial response with a mean (SD) response duration of 2.7 (1.2) months. Overall improvement was independent of baseline headache characteristics. Seventy percent (95% confidence interval, 35% to 93%) of 10 true migraine patients treated acutely reported complete response with improvement 1 to 2 hours after treatment. No adverse effects were reported. CONCLUSIONS: BOTOX was found to be a safe and effective therapy for both acute and prophylactic treatment of migraine headaches. Further research is needed to explore and develop the complete potential for the neuroinhibitory effects of botulinum toxin.

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