What Is a Migraine?\nSimply put, a migraine is an intense and painful type of headache. Lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days, migraines can cause symptoms that are much more severe than that of a typical headache.\nMigraine symptoms\nSigns of migraines include:\n\nModerate to severe pain (often described as pounding, throbbing pain) that can affect the whole head, or can shift from one side of the head to the other\nBlurred vision\nSensitivity to light, noise or odors\nNausea, vomiting, upset stomach, or abdominal pain\nLoss of appetite\nPaleness\nFatigue\nDizziness\nFever\u00a0(rare)\nBright flashing dots or lights, blind spots, wavy or jagged lines\n\nYou can learn more about the differences between headaches and migraines with our guide\n\u201cChronic migraines\u201d are described as those that occur at least 15 days per month. Although they aren\u2019t curable, migraines are treatable.\nCommon treatments include both over-the-counter and prescription medicine. If those types of treatment aren\u2019t sufficient, you and your doctor might consider alternative treatments, including BOTOX\u00ae injections.\nWhat Is BOTOX?\nBOTOX is a prescription drug made of the bacterial toxin \u201cbotulinum.\u201d It\u2019s commonly used to treat muscle conditions or to improve the appearance of wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscles in the face.\nTreating Your Chronic Migraines with BOTOX\nBOTOX temporarily slows muscle activity. Though it\u2019s commonly thought of as a cosmetic option, BOTOX is an effective treatment for a number of medical ailments, including eye muscle conditions, overactive bladder, and excessive sweating. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration approved Botox as a treatment option for chronic migraine.\nBOTOX treatment for chronic migraine\nBOTOX can help reduce the occurrence of migraines and their symptoms in some chronic migraine sufferers.\nOnce injected, BOTOX helps reduce the expression of certain pain pathways in nerve cells related to migraines and sensory systems. This differs from the other common use of BOTOX as a muscle relaxer.\nWhat to expect from BOTOX treatment\nMost people who choose to treat chronic migraines with BOTOX receive treatment about every three months. Your doctor will inject BOTOX into a number of identified points across your forehead, temple, and neck. Initial treatment plans for BOTOX usually span two to three treatments, or six to nine months.\nRELATED:\u00a0Headaches vs. Migraines \u2013 What\u2019s the Difference?\nSide Effects of BOTOX\nAs with any medication, side effects are possible with BOTOX. In some patients, BOTOX may not be effective, or it may take a few days for them to see relief from pain. Other side effects may include:\n\nDouble vision\nMuscle weakness\nNeck pain\nBruising or swelling around injection\nFlu-like symptoms\n\nIf you\u2019re considering BOTOX as a treatment for your chronic migraines, consult your doctor. Together you can determine your best treatment options.\nTo learn more, visit the UPMC Headache Center website.