Botox for children?
Best known for treating wrinkles, Botox is increasingly popular among adults looking for the fountain of youth.
Now researchers are saying Botox just might help your children, too – with their migraines.
Researchers from the University of California conducted a small study of children and teens ages 8 to 17 suffering from chronic migraines; some suffered so severely that they had to be homeschooled or even hospitalized. They found that children and teens receiving Botox injections every 12 weeks over a five-year period experienced significant improvements in their migraine symptoms.
Currently, children who suffer from regular migraines are limited to over-the-counter painkillers and some anti-seizure medications for treatment.
“Migraines can be very debilitating for children,” says Dr. Cathy Joyce, an adolescent medicine physician at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “They can make it difficult to concentrate on school work and other activities.”
Participants said the migraines did not feel as painful as they had before the treatment. Additionally, the frequency of headaches reduced from 8-30 days a month to 2-10 days a month. Botox also reduced migraine length from 30 minutes-24 hours to 15 minutes-7 hours.
Only eight of the 1,000 combined injections given to the children resulted in adverse events. Side effects commonly associated with Botox include double vision, muscle weakness and drooping eyelids.
Researchers will conduct more rigorous trials to better assess the drug’s safety and long-term success.
“While more evidence is needed to ensure the effectiveness of Botox as a treatment for migraines, this is a step in the right direction to provide children and teens more options for relief,” says Dr. Joyce.
About the Author
Janine Sheedy is a public affairs and marketing manager at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove. She holds a B.A. in communications from Loyola University New Orleans and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago. She has more than seven years of communications experience, most recently serving as a public relations and marketing manager for the Illinois Hospital Association. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and Green Bay Packers football. On September 9, 2017, Janine will be running for the coveted Musky Queen title at Wills Northwoods Inn.