Botulinum neurotoxin for the treatment of migraine and other primary headache disorders

Andrew M. Blumenfeld, David W. Dodick, Stephen D. Silberstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Clinical data and experience to date have demonstrated that BoNT-A is an effective and well-tolerated therapy for the prevention of migraine and other headache disorders. It has a long duration of action that may last over 4 months with no systemic or serious AEs. Several issues remain to be defined, however, including dosing, location, and number of injections; optimal dilution of BoNT-A; specific headache types that respond best to BoNT-A; and long-term efficacy and safety. Data from ongoing well-designed trials that include a larger patient population investigating these issues may confirm a role for BoNT-A as a first-line agent for migraine prevention. Neurotoxin therapy is part of a broader headache management approach. Because the injection techniques for headache are unique and vary depending on the primary headache disorder being treated and the location and pattern of pain referral, the use of BoNT-A for headache is not simply an extension of its use for cosmesis. The use of BoNT-A in the overall management of primary headache disorders should be reserved for medical practitioners who not only have experience with BoNT-A injections, but possess the expertise in the diagnosis and management of complex headache disorders. Educating patients and addressing headache triggers and optimizing acute treatment improve the outcome of any preventive program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalDermatologic Clinics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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