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Thursday 27th October 2016

Botox jab for migraines not proved

16th February 2012

Botox treatment is unlikely to be made available on the NHS in England and Wales for chronic migraines.


In draft guidance, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said there was insufficient evidence to justify the use of the anti-wrinkle drug for migraine.

However, it has asked manufacturer, Allergan, to provide better data before making a final decision in June.

In July 2010, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approved Botox as a preventive treatment for chronic migraine.

It is injected into at least 31 sites around the head and neck every 12 weeks, though it remains unclear how the neurotoxin might prevent chronic migraines.

NICE has acknowledged there was some benefit following a trial involving 1,384 patients, published in the journal Headache, although a review in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin in February 2011 said the was "limited evidence" for using Botox.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the health technology evaluation centre at NICE, said: “Our independent committee is asking Allergan to provide further information and analysis as part of this public consultation, so that it has sufficient evidence to develop sound advice for the NHS regarding the use of Botox for the prevention of headaches in adults with chronic migraine.

“Without this additional evidence, potentially we will be unable to advise the NHS that this drug is good value for money.”

NICE estimated the cost to the NHS would be £349.40 for every 12-week cycle of treatment.

Migraine Trust chief executive Wendy Thomas said her organisation was disappointed by the ruling.


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