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Comment from: Carrie, 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: February 20

I am a 37 year old female who a month ago received my second series of botox inj for migraines. 2 days following the injections I started experiencing neck stiffness and extreme headache. I called my neurologist who assured me it was not the botox effects but probably just inflammation. He then prescribed a muscle relaxer and steroid pack which did not work or provide relief whatsoever. With each day more pain and discomfort came. Its been a month now and after a 3 day stay in the hospital being evaluated and tested for many things,it was concluded all of my problems came from botox. I am pretty much homebound, unable to drive from dizziness, severe neck stiffness and pain, migraines almost daily, severe nausea, and extreme heart palpitations which cause me to have panic attacks. I would strongly encourage anyone thinking of this to please try other methods as the side effects are much worse and have kept me out of a job for 2 months now. What frustrates me most is my neurologist will not see me anymore and denies any of this is botox related. Good luck to all migraine sufferers.

Related Reading: botox | palpitations | panic attacks

Comment from: Grams1, 55-64 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: October 30

Have had migraines for almost 40 years. This was the last option for me. Now my head feels very heavy due to paralysing of neck muscles which are in constant spasm.Have to rest my head ofton. Had to get Lidocaine patches. Also drooping eyelds, sinus infection, throat ulissues. Agreed to injections but elimination neck and shoulders injections. Still have HA some even more violent. I would rather have migraines than the constant spasms in the neck and shoulders. I had to deal with both (HA and spasm). The effect wore off after about 6 weeks. Due for next in a month.

Related Reading: lidocaine | sinus infection

Comment from: 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: April 28

Experienced weak neck muscles for about 5 days after the injections. Felt like I needed a neck brace to hold my head up. I had a very stiff neck prior to the inj, the inj loosened the cervical joints up. Very pleased with the reduction in migraines. I have gone from 4/wk down 1/wk in 1 mointh.

Comment from: 55-64 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: April 17

Instead of preventing migraines, this treatment actually caused one within 2 days of the injection and caused my eye to droop (which lasted for 2 months). I will never try this again.

Comment from: Imok, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: August 10

I had my injections almost four weeks ago, in my shoulders, neck, scalp, and around my forehead to treat migraines. The first three weeks were ok, no headaches, but had other side effects. I have existing degenerative disc and other minor problems with my spine. I, like other people, had problems bending over. My neck would tense up and I could feel my muscles spasming. It was like my neck, which was already working hard to keep my spine in line, is now struggling even harder. After three weeks I got my first migraine, it lasted three days. The migraine started on the right side, mostly pain in my neck and nausea, went away mid day on the second day. The third day it was back with a vengeance on my left side. I was nauseous, my neck hurt bad all day, and a little pain above my left eye as well. I think the doctor did not get above my left eye as well as the other side since I can move it more. I have problems sleeping at night, if I turn my head at all I can feel a muscle tensing up and pain. I am hoping this does not leave lasting problems after it wears off. Looking back, it does not sound like a good idea to weaken muscles that have major job duties like holding up your head. I would not have my neck injected again, it has not helped the migraine pain in my neck area at all and could be partially causing it now. I would consider having my scalp and forehead done again.

Comment from: kathy, 45-54 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: April 25

After trying many different RX's I have found Botox injections to rid the migraines. The only issues I have is that it takes up to 10 days to begin to work, relief is for 3-4 weeks vs 3-4 months, drooping eyelids, loss of neck muscle / upper shoulder strength.Those who suffer from frequent migraines will find 3-4 weeks of relief a great break! I still need to take Topamax and slowly reduce my dosage during the Botox relief to give my system a break but then I find that I need to increase as the migraines increase. Wish I could find something that would work more effectively. If your insurance covers this you should try it, it's worth feeling like you have bee stings in the head just to get the few weeks of relief!

Related Reading: botox | topamax

Comment from: Angelique, 35-44 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: September 04

It takes 3 treatments to reach a full efficacy. The injections hurt and can trigger a head ache, no lie, but take ibuprofen before to prevent. IT IS WORTH IT! I rather have pain for five minutes four times a year than pain for days on end anytime a migraine wants to come

Related Reading: ibuprofen

Comment from: 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: December 04

After having migraines on a daily basis for several years I was offered Botox injections. I was excited that I might actually get some relief and not have to take so much medication. The injections themselves weren't too difficult, however the side effects I have experienced probably outweigh the benefit. I have not had a migraine, but the extreme neck pain I am having is far worse because nothing relieves it. I constantly have to rest my head because it feels like it's straining even with simple tasks and I got the injections a month ago. 3 days after getting the injections I began to feel the pain in my neck. The following week I had what is referred to as "bobble head" where my head felt like it was going to fall off of my shoulders. I was also extremely dizzy and disoriented for 2 weeks, so much so that I went to the ER, not realizing these were side effects from Botox. Most of the side effects have disapated, however this neck pain is severe and only gets worse. If I have to deal with this for 3 months until the injections wear off it will be a nightmare. I can't exercise anymore, I can't do household chores, in fact there isn't much I can do with this neck pain and nothing will relieve it. I've tried medication, chiropractic, massage, heat, ice, pain patches, the whole nine yards. At least with a migraine I could take medication and get relief, I'm not so lucky with this neck pain. And it's about a constant 9 on a 10 scale. I actually cried the other night because it hurt so bad.

Related Reading: botox | neck pain

Comment from: argybargy, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: December 15

I have a headache and vertigo that never goes away. I had my first set of Botox injections 27 days ago. The actual shots were no big deal. I give it a 2 or 3 on the pain scale. You will hear a snap crackle pop when the needle goes in but the whole thing is over pretty quickly. Immediately afterwards I felt disoriented and wished I had brought a driver. The following side effects for the first two weeks were really bad: very hard to swallow food, blurred vision, moderate shoulder and neck pain, and decreased lateral neck movement. My average 3-4 migraine went up to a throbbing 8-9 and I can’t bend forward without holding my head up with my hand. All of this slowly starts to go away two to three weeks in. It’s been almost a month in and still have to hold my head up but most of the other side effects have dissipated. At this point I do not know if I will go ahead with the second treatment. There would have to be a major improvement in the next two months for me to sit through those side effects again. I do not regret trying it though.

Related Reading: headache | vertigo

Comment from: Celine1051, 35-44 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: February 18

I have suffered with migraines since I was 13 years old. I now drive an hour and a half to my neurologists office every 3 months for 30 Botox injections, across my forehead, scalp, neck, and shoulders. Prior to having the injections I had 5+ migraines a week, now I have about 5 migraines a month. The injections have worked wonders for me!!! The only negative I've experienced (which is no fault of the Botox) is a snow storm kept me from my appointment and I couldnt get in until I was almost 2 months past my due date. Due to this, my migraines returned with a vengeance!! Thankfully though, my neuro doctor has alerted his staff to work me in, no matter how busy his schedule is, so I will not have this happen again. I've had no major side effects to speak of...really only after my first treatment did I feel a bit of weakness in my neck muscles, sort of like my head was to heavy to be properly supported by my neck...but that passed quickly. I highly recommend you find a qualified neurologist to administer the injections. My neurologist has been treating patients with Botox for many years, and has patients who travel from across the US to see him. During my last appointment there was a patient there from Florida...and I live in that should speak to his qualifications and professionalism. Good luck.

Comment from: Luv, 55-64 on Treatment for 10+ years (Patient) Published: October 14

I have suffered with migraines/headaches for years. Now that I'm in menopause they've hit with a vengeance. After numerous medications I elected to try the botox. I was never informed that I'd be getting 20-25 shots. The injections started right below my hairline, circled both ears, followed my hairline in the back and then 3 shots down each of my neck muscles. The pain was minimal when you consider the migraine pain. It has been approx 4 weeks and I am now going to new doctors because they think I have infectious or bacterial arthritis. I never had an issue with joint pain in the past. The pain came on 2 wks post injections and along with the severe left hip pain I've got pain in both jaw joints, my rgt shoulder, a low grade temp, nausea and severe fatigue. Of couse this could be a coincidence but I don't think so. Think twice before getting sooo much botox injected and read as many reviews as possible. Nothing I had read had prepared me for what I am now going through.

Related Reading: menopause | botox | arthritis

Comment from: Migraineur, 55-64 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: October 10

I have had 7 sets of botox injections to prevent chronic migraine. Initially, the botox did reduce the frequency of migraine and headache. But I did struggle with tremendous neck pain and paralysis making bending over to do simple tasks difficult to impossible. We reduced the amount of botox given but still problems with movement continued. Finally, the botox began causing unrelenting throbbing headache that lasted for 4 - 5 weeks and I did not feel better until the botox wore off. I will no longer be using botox to prevent migraine as it no longer provides any benefit.


Who suffers more frequently from migraine headaches? See Answer
Comment from: Suze, 65-74 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: September 08

Now 12 days post injections, I have severe side effects, including difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, extreme neck and head pain, burning pain down the right side of my neck. So far, I have had one migraine requiring Imitrex, so maybe it does prevent migraines. However, I do not trust myself to drive with my stiff neck, get dizzy, cannot go for my daily long walks, cannot eat regular food (only pudding or cream soup), cannot swallow regular medications. So, I sure don't know if it's worth it! I also have "head drop", can't bend over without great difficulty. Hard to function. I will most likely not go for repeat injections, unless it can be done just in the forehead and still be effective.

Related Reading: hoarseness | imitrex

Comment from: Pain in he Neck, 45-54 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: May 10

I have been getting injections for several years with uncertainty as to effectiveness. Migraines did not began until after a auto accident which also caused an onset of fibromyalgia. The fibromyalgia which seems to be in remission. Botox injections have caused so much muscle pain and rigidity that my neck, scalene muscles are standing out abnormally and I cannot turn my head from side to side. The pain has been excruciating. The neck pain is severe and now almost a 2 months after having an injecting I have constant migraines and headaches daily. My head and neck has constant pain. I also experienced with this last injection in February, an inability to chew food and difficulty with swallowing due muscles being abnormally tight. I was unable to work for almost 3 weeks following injections and now 2 months later I am experience chronic daily headaches with neck stiffness that is still very painful, and migraines that are debilitating. I still cannot turn my head all of the way to the left or right. I notified my neurologist Dr. M. and his response was to write in his medical notes that I should remain active in the presence of these episodes of chronic daily migraines and he would not validate short term disability due migraines. I have decided that Botox side effects are too disabling and not helpful, and can even be harmful. I used up to 200 units of Botox, even with less units the muscle rigidity and spasms with tightness and pain have not subsided. I also suspect that the injections are less effective over time and with frequency. I had had injections every 3 months and did not have chronic daily migraines until recently with the past few injection.

Related Reading: fibromyalgia | botox | neck pain

Comment from: Jenanne, 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: April 19

I just had my second set of injections. The first one gave me a very painful neck for about 2-3 weeks but I went without a serious migraine for about 5 weeks after that. Then I had a bad week of migraines and at that time I noticed that my muscle control was returning in my forehead, so possibly it was not effective any longer b/c it had worn off. The second treatment my neuro adjusted the depth and location of the injections that cause neck weakness and I've had no problems. Still experiencing headaches/migraines but they are supposed to improve gradually. Still hopeful, it's been up and down. I do have a friend who had a radical improvement in her migraines, down to one a month, after the first tx. Wish we were all so lucky!

Comment from: mlbsf, 45-54 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: September 29

I would say maybe half a dozen of the total shots stung pretty good. The overall procedure wasn't horrible. I didn't have any side-effects at all from the Botox, which is good. No neck pain, drooping eyelids or weakness that other people have reported. I got the Botox a little over six weeks ago, and it's definitely not the miracle I was hoping for. I still get just as many headaches. The only difference is I have been getting fewer wake up migraines, and I think the migraines I get respond better to my Imitrex. I did have three perfect days at one point with absolutely ZERO head pain (which was a miracle in itself) .. and I was hoping it was the Botox doing the trick, but on day 4 I was right back in the chronic daily headache cycle. I'm hoping when I get round 2 in November, I'll see better results. But for now, it hasn't really helped much I'm afraid. It really helps to read everyone's honest reviews so I can set my expectations. Hopefully my input helps.

Related Reading: headache

Comment from: Mbray, 25-34 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: May 12

After the injections I had localized pain which was gone within 24 hours. I have significantly fewer and less severe migraines. Is is the best migraine prevention treatment I've tried so far.

Related Reading: prevention

Comment from: Lanikai, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: October 06

The Botox not only was highly ineffective for me, but also left me with horrible neck and shoulder pain. My first Botox was over a year ago, a week after that I woke up with a frozen neck and shoulders pain. I was waiting for the 3 months mark for a relief, but it never came. It seems that the muscles that were injected became paralyzed and other ones started overcompensating, and thus became very tight and painful. Neck MRI came normal. 4 months ago I was talked again into the Botox and the neck pain and stiffness got only worse. On top of that I am having this horrid nerve-like pain on the left side of my head. Besides, the Botox never helped with my migraines. So please be careful, cause you may end up worse than before.. What did help me is nortryptyline. The last couple months no more migraines - but still a horrid muscle pain. I feel like I just traded up a new pain for onther, the one that is there all the time :(

Comment from: trish, 55-64 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: November 15

After 18 years of being a migraine sufferer,(up to 18 per month) and trying many meds, no meds, chiropractor,ect.. I was hoping Botox would be my savior. No such luck. I have had 2years worth of injections every 3 months. I have had no difference in the amount of migraines a month. The severity has gone to more dizziness and neck pain. I have had muscle weakness and a droopy eye. I am very disappointed with my results. If you look at the studies on Botox, the placebo drug that is given to some patients, gives almost the same results as the Botox. I am finished having the shots. Back to my Zomig rescue medication. I am very frustrated.

Related Reading: botox | dizziness | neck pain

Comment from: (Patient) Published: July 05

My neuro hoped the Botox would help with the 22 migraine days I have a month, but I have not received any relief from them after three treatments. The only side effects I have had are a tightened forehead and droopy eyelids.

Comment from: kyky, 25-34 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: March 07

I just started the botox treatment this week on 3/5/14 and I was fine till about 8:00pm that night an got a sharp pain at the bottom of my head to my neck then from my neck to my shoulders, I have had some light side effects that my doctor said would go away within the next couple of days. If anyone reads this please give me some feed back on how to relive the neck pain an forehead pain I'm having. thank you

Related Reading: botox

Comment from: JKLaw28, 25-34 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: January 31

I started Botox for migraines in October last year. (2013) I have suffered migraines since the age of 20 and have been unable to take any medication used for migraine due to reactions. After the migraines became hemiplegic migraines I was offered Botox. It has worked for me. I suffer an extreme amount of neck and shoulder tension and pain with my migraines and the injections have helped relieve that as well. It's like a death grip was removed from my head. After my second round it kicked in faster. The only complaint I have is the fact they start to wear off about a month before insurance will approve the next round. It's worth it overall. I did have an eyebrow droop the first time which has been avoided by reducing the amount injected into my forehead. That's why I gave 4 Stars instead of 5. It takes a little tweaking.

Comment from: tricia1950, 55-64 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: October 10

My migraines use to all be 10s. In the past year I have only had four level 4 migraines. The others have be 2 or 3. Only on occasion do I get aura and nausea. Promethazine (for nausea) can help with my rare migraines even with no nausea present. I was told never again to take any oral medication or Imitrex shots for migraine due to side effects. I was too close to a "serious or life threatening reaction". I was leery about putting a toxin in my body if I couldn't use Rx drugs. I consulted three doctors and they agreed I was a perfect candidate for Botox. I wish I'd know about Botox for chronic migraine years ago. I'm grateful to have the Headache Wellness Center prescribe Botox! I believe my benefits my be higher than average.

Related Reading: promethazine | imitrex | headache

Comment from: 55-64 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: February 17

I received first set of injections 1.5 months ago. have had severe neck pain since, but no migraines. If the neck pain would diminish, it would be worth it.

Comment from: 65-74 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: April 22

I have suffered from migraines for over 50 years and had about 4 a month. They recently increased to 10 a month so my Doctor suggested Botox. I had my injections a week ago. I experienced a headache within 2 hours which lasted about 3 days and then the neck and shoulder pain which are still there. I also have extreme fatigue, and also joint pain. I will never have the injections again, and am now very concerned about the length of these side effects. I wish I had read the other reviews before starting this. I called my doctor the next day, and she replied 3 days later saying these side effects were common and wouldn't last long. I think the doctors should read these reviews!

Related Reading: headache | fatigue


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Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

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