Migraine Awareness Week

7th, September 2016

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance in June 2012 recommending Botox® is made available on the NHS as a preventive treatment option for adult patients with chronic migraine.

Migraine is a complex neurological disorder with no known cause or cure. It affects 1 in 7 people in the UK and unfortunately this can negatively impact upon their family, work and social lives.  The World Health Organisation recognises migraine as one of the most disabling lifetime conditions and it is more prevalent than diabetes, asthma and epilepsy combined.


Migraine has a wide variety of symptoms which can vary from person to person such as a painful headache, sensitivity to light, disturbed vision, feeling sick and vomiting. Migraine attacks may result in you having to lie still for several hours and can be very frightening. Attacks usually last from 4 to 72 hours. If you are susceptible to migraine, there are certain triggers which commonly occur including lack of food or sleep, stress, alcohol and hormonal changes in women.


Botox® (Botulinum toxin) is a treatment option for adults with chronic migraine. Botox® was licensed specifically for the treatment of chronic migraine in July 2010 by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Botox® has not been shown to be effective for any other headache type (e.g. episodic migraine, tension-type headache, cluster headache) as yet.


Unlike many of the other conditions in which it is used, it is not thought to work against migraine by relaxing overactive muscles.  More research into the mechanism of action of botulinum toxin will hopefully shed light into all the pathways that it acts upon.


Only patients with chronic migraine are eligible for treatment with Botox®. Chronic migraine is defined as headaches occurring on 15 or more days each month, at least half of which have migrainous features. There are, however, other treatments available to patients with chronic migraine. Before a decision to use Botox® is taken, it is important that patients have an informed discussion with an experienced practitioner in the diagnosis and management of headaches.


Availability of Botox® for treating chronic migraine on the NHS


The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance in June 2012 recommending Botox® is made available on the NHS as a preventive treatment option for adult patients with chronic migraine – this applies to NHS settings in England and Wales.


If your health professional has recommended that you are suitable for Botox® treatment, but you are having difficulty accessing the resources from your local NHS healthcare provider, then you can seek this treatment privately.


Botox® as a migraine treatment is available within the 3fivetwo Group via Cosmetech and Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Belfast.


For more information or to book an appointment please call 0845 6006 352.


Sources and further information





Recent Articles

[Error loading the control 'RepeaterBlogItems', check event log for more details]

Can we help?