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Botox Has Small Effect When Fighting Migraines

February 9, 2011

A study published on Tuesday found that the anti-wrinkle drug Botox, which has been licensed in some countries as a treatment for chronic migraine, has negligible effects against these headaches.

Botox works as a cosmetic by paralyzing the muscles that cause wrinkles.

It has now been authorized in Britain, the U.S. and other places to relieve chronic migraines, administered by regular injections to up to 39 sites in the head and neck muscles.

However, the British journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin said clinical trials showed only “limited evidence of benefit.”

Between one and 10 percent of volunteers who were injected with the drug experienced uncomfortable or painful side effects, including muscle spasms, rashes and itches.

The report also said it was impossible to rule out other risks from Botox, including the risk of infection from a protein called human serum albumin, which is part of the drug’s formula.

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