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Botox approved for chronic migraine

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UK regulators have approved the use of Botox as a treatment for chronic migraine.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency made the ruling after a trial involving more than 1,300 patients found the bacterium reduced the frequency of headaches.

However, the body said only patients who suffer headaches at least 15 days a month, with half of those displaying migraine symptoms, would be eligible for the treatment.

About 700,000 people in the UK are thought to suffer from chronic migraines.

In the trials, patients were given up to five courses of Botox injections into specific head and neck muscles every 12 weeks.

After 24 weeks, those treated with Botox had fewer days with a migraine than those receiving a placebo, while after a year, nearly 70% of those treated with Botox had a 50% reduction in the number of migraines compared with before the trial.

It is not yet clear why the treatment is effective, although Botox is believed to block pain signals as well as acting as a muscle relaxant.

Click here to see the article in the journal Headache

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