Botox approved for migraine treatment12th July 2010
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has given its approval to the use of botox injections as a treatment for migraines.
In a clinical trial of 1,300 patients, the injections were found to decrease the frequency of headaches in migraine sufferers.
The MHRA said that only people who had headaches for more than 15 days each month would be entitled to the treatment.
It has been estimated that 700,000 people in the UK suffer from migraines. The symptoms include a terrible headache, nausea and light sensitivity.
Botox injections, which act as a muscle relaxant, are believed to disrupt pain signals.
In the trial, participants were injected with botulism toxin in certain muscles in their heads and necks once every three months.
After six months, the patients who received the botox injections took less time off because of their headaches than the participants who were given a placebo.
After a year's worth of treatment, almost 70% of patients who were given botox had a 50% decrease in the number of headaches they suffered.
Lee Tomkins, director of Migraine Action, said the injections were not a "cure" but could prove beneficial for people who had regular attacks.
"We have been following these studies really closely and the evidence is really pretty solid."
"These people spend half their lives in pain. Even if they get half the attacks, it can really improve their quality of life."
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