A small study on children revealed that Botox might be helpful in migraine pain management in children. Although the study included only 9 children with age ranging from 8 to 17 years, it opened doors for further researches to develop Botox as an alternative medicine for pediatric migraine treatment.
Botox is known to shorten the duration of migraine pain, reduce the frequency of pain and also lowers the intensity of pain, but it is approved for the treatment of migraine in adults only till date. Incidentally, this study proposes an alternative treatment to Topiramate – the only approved drug for the treatment of migraine in adolescents.
This study was conducted by Dr. Shalini Shah, division chief of pain, University of California, Irvine. The participating children, who were suffering from migraine pain at a frequency of eight to thirty times per month, were given Botox injections at the back and front of the head, and on the neck every 12 week for a period of five years. The results showed that Botox treatment lowered the pain and the frequency of migraine episodes reduced by two to ten times a month. Moreover, the duration of the migration pain also reduced from half an hour to full day from fifteen minutes to seven hours.
Dr. Shah stated, “when children and teens have migraine pain, it can severely affect their lives and ability to function”. She further added, “we saw functional aspects in all of the children and teens. In fact, one patient was hospitalized monthly for her migraine pain prior to Botox treatment and was expected to be held back in school. After treatment, she only has one or two migraines a year, and is excelling in college.”
No side-effects have yet been reported from this study and another research has already been started. Dr. Shah will be presenting the findings of her study at a meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in Boston.