Botulinum Toxin (Botox) as Treatment for Migraine Headaches

Posted by The Evidence Blog on February 7, 2012

By Karen Matthias, MBA, RN, Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Botulinum toxin (BTX), commonly known as Botox, has been proposed as a treatment for certain types of chronic headaches. On October 15, 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Botox injection to prevent headaches in adult patients with chronic migraine. After examining the new evidence, however, use of BTX for the treatment of migraine headaches received a low Hayes Rating.

Our recently updated health technology assessment on the use of BTX for the treatment of migraine headache examined these relevant questions:

  • Does BTX reduce the frequency, severity, or duration of migraine headache?
  • Does BTX improve quality of life in patients who have chronic migraine headache?
  • Is there a difference in efficacy among serotypes and BTX products?
  • How does efficacy of BTX compare with other prophylactic treatments for chronic migraine headache?
  • Is BTX safe for the treatment of migraine headache?
  • Have definitive patient selection criteria been established for the use of BTX for the prevention of migraine headache?

Although a relatively large number of well-designed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have evaluated BTX for the prevention of migraine, we found conflicting and inconsistent evidence supporting its benefit to patients with migraine. Moreover, due to lack of long-term follow-up, the available RCTs do not provide any data concerning the durability of potential benefits from treatment.

Download the complete report, along with the Hayes Ratings for this technology here.

Topics: Health Technologies, Hayes Blog

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