Botox Migraine

Reporter: Andrea Burns

Libby says "it's just the most extreme pain; you just want to pull your head off your shoulders"

Dr Patrick Briggs says "the number of patients I'm treating is increasing by the week"

Libby says "I've got my life back" There is nothing cosmetic about the botox injections going into Libby Nunn's face. The only part of her appearance it'll affect is Libby's ability to appear at work. Previously suffering three migraines a week, she'd have to take huge chunks of sick leave. Libby says "I don't think that people really understand that you feel like your head is about to explode" Thanks to Botox injections, Libby's migraines are now back to just one a month. "I've joined the human race again"

Once only the indulgence of movie stars and society types keen to keep their looks, botox is now also being used more often for medical, rather than purely cosmetic purposes." It's versatile cos it does one thing, it affects muscle strength" Surgeon Patrick Briggs... "We can use it to soften wrinkles, we can use it to take away tension in muscles which cause headaches, and it's also used in neurology and things like cerebral palsy and dysphonia and various other neuromuscular conditions."

Still, exactly why Botox works on migraine is still being investigated. Dr Patrick Briggs says "whether it is actually muscle tension or whether it's due to spasm of arteries. In any event, the successful use of botox to treat migraines would lend weight to the fact that it's probably caused by muscle tension. Or at least, that's one of the major factors." Whatever the cause in her case, Libby, who's had migraines since she was 14, says she'd tried everything - drugs, natural remedies, even a jaw splint.

Libby now keeps a diary, so Dr Briggs can target the exact spot where her pain starts. Like three million Australians who suffer migraine, she says the condition is painful and isolating. "You don't feel like there's anyone out there experiencing what you're going through, it's just excruciating" Libby says the Botox injections, on the other hand, don't hurt. Each session gives her around three months' relief, but the treatment isn't cheap, and Medicare doesn't cover it. It costs 1300-1500 roughly and at the moment I get the generous token of about $30 dollars sixty back from my health fund"

"It's an expensive procedure because the full trials on the use of botox in migraine have not been done as yet" Dr Briggs expects the treatment to be covered eventually... still he emphasises the dose of Botox is low and is considered safe. Libby says the treatment is worth every cent. "It's wonderful; I'd recommend it to anyone"

Contact Details :

Dr Patrick Briggs

Cosmetic Surgeon

9381 9300 during business hours