Confession: I Had Botox For My Migraines

Fiona Russell

Fiona Russell found a crease free solution to her migraines

Why Botox for Migraines?

I started getting migraines about ten years ago, at the age of 23—just once or twice a month to begin with. By 2011 they were coming more frequently. In my worst month I had 22. I was working in Canada at the time—I’m a scientist studying pain, ironically—but I had to move home and in with my parents. The migraines caused me to sleep during the day, and then I couldn’t sleep at night. I had no energy. My head was often so heavy I couldn’t lift it. None of the drugs worked except an anti-epileptic medication, but that had such severe side effects that I came off it. 

At the National Migraine Centre in London, my neurologist suggested botox. It helps about 70 per cent of people with chronic migraine, so I was hopeful. I was approved on the NHS—you have to have headaches for more than 15 days a month and three failed medications—but I ended up paying to get it done quicker. Having 31 injections in my temples, forehead, shoulders and the back of my neck was painful, but it only took five minutes. Afterwards, I managed to go ten days without a migraine, the longest in years. After two sessions—it takes at least three—my migraines are down by more than half and less severe.

Now I say yes to more invitations and don’t worry so much about having migraines. I feel freer.

Other surprising uses for Botox

Famed for smoothing out wrinkles, botulinum toxin (AKA botox) can also be used to treat:

  • Hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating)
  • Overactive bladder
  • Spasticity as a result of MS or stroke
  • Tennis elbow
  • Squint
  • Neck spasms

​Do you suffer from migraines? Find some more conventional treatment methods here.