Skip to main content

Colleen Delsack, 47, of Alexandria, Va., is injected with Botox injected by Shannon Ginnan, at Reveal in Arlington, Va., on Friday, June 5, 2009.

Jacquelyn Martin/Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Frown if you get migraines.

Now smile. Botox has been approved in Canada as a preventative treatment for debilitating headaches, according to drug manufacturer Allergan.

Health Canada has given doctors the green light to use Botox injections in adults who suffer from migraines 15 or more days a month.

Story continues below advertisement

Just think of all that wrinkle-free skin, doctor's orders.

But no faking a headache, now.

Botox for chronic migraine is a serious matter (unlike Hollywood's "frozen face" fashion statement).

The treatment involves injecting up to 195 units of Botulinum toxin A into seven muscles in the head and neck. Injections must be repeated about every three months to keep migraines at bay.

In 2009, Health Canada announced new labelling information for Botox, warning that the neurotoxin used in the product may spread to distant parts of the body.

Nevertheless, plenty of chronic migraine sufferers may be willing to go under the needle.

According to the World Health Organization, living with daily migraines can be more disabling than blindness, paraplegia or rheumatoid arthritis.

Story continues below advertisement

Women are three times more likely than men to suffer from chronic migraine, which may worsen with stress, poor diet and sleep habits, and overuse of pain medication recommended for headaches.

In two clinical trials funded by Allergan, patients who received Botox reported a total cumulative reduction in headache hours by 107 and 134 hours at 24 weeks, compared with 70 and 95 hours in patients treated with placebo.

But, as with many medical treatments, there was a catch. Side effects included droopy eyes, muscle pain, bronchitis – and migraines.

Would you use Botox for migraines? How about wrinkles?

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter