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IRVINE (CBS) — Officials from Irvine-based Allergan, maker of Botox, said they were pleased that a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Wednesday shows the medication provides some relief for chronic migraine sufferers.
However, the researchers who reviewed and analyzed previous studies on Botox and headaches, concluded the drug, which was originally used for plastic surgery purposes, is not much better than a placebo for those who suffer “episodic migraines,” or tension headaches.
Episodic migraines were defined as less than 15 a month. Chronic migraines come on 15 or more times a month.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Botox for the treatment of chronic migraines in 2010.
The analysis of the research, led by Dr. Jeffrey Jackson of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, showed “small to modest benefit for patients with chronic migraine headaches and chronic daily headaches.” And no better than a placebo for episodic migraine or chronic tension headaches, the researchers concluded.
“As a company that is committed to high-quality research and the advancement of patient care, Allergan is pleased (that the research article) … reinforces the role of Botox as an effective prophylactic treatment option for headaches in adults with chronic migraine,” Allergan said in a statement.
Allergan officials said the company’s research has shown that patients treated with Botox average eight to nine fewer headache days per month, compared with six to seven fewer days for those receiving a placebo.
Botox can lead to an added full work week less migraine-plagued days per month, Allergan officials claimed.
However, Jackson and his researchers concluded: “Our analyses suggest that botulinum toxin A may be associated with improvement in the frequency of chronic migraine and chronic daily headaches, but not with improvement in the frequency of episodic migraine, chronic tension-type headaches, or episodic tension-type headaches.”
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