(BPT) - The start of a new year is a busy time for everyone. Between celebrating with friends and family, jumping back in at the office after time off for the holidays, and getting a start on those New Year’s resolutions, Americans are busy and raring to go. But people with Chronic Migraine are left worrying about when their next headache day will strike.
Many people get headaches from time to time. But those living with Chronic Migraine can spend at least half of each month with a headache. Different from episodic migraine, Chronic Migraine is a distinct neurologic condition defined as having 15 or more headache days each month, each lasting four hours or more, with at least eight of those headache days being associated with migraine.
Kelly has lived with Chronic Migraine since her early 20s. Living with this condition means that half of every month is spent dealing with debilitating headaches.
In a study with 512 patients, only approximately 25% of patients who meet the clinical definition for Chronic Migraine were diagnosed,  it’s critical to seek out a headache expert to get an accurate diagnosis and discuss treatment options. Recognizing symptoms and receiving a diagnosis is important – while there is no cure for Chronic Migraine, there are treatment options that can help. For example, BOTOX® (onabotulinumtoxinA) is the first and only FDA-approved, preventive treatment in adults with Chronic Migraine (15 or more headache days a month, each lasting 4 hours or more) shown to prevent headache days before they even start.
BOTOX® prevents on average 8 to 9 headache days a month (versus 6 to 7 for placebo). BOTOX® is not approved for adults with migraine who have 14 or fewer headache days a month.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
BOTOX® may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening. Get medical help right away if you have any of these problems any time (hours to weeks) after injection of BOTOX®:
- Problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing, due to weakening of associated muscles, can be severe and result in loss of life. You are at the highest risk if these problems are pre-existing before injection. Swallowing problems may last for several months.
- Spread of toxin effects. The effect of botulinum toxin may affect areas away from the injection site and cause serious symptoms including: loss of strength and all-over muscle weakness, double vision, blurred vision and drooping eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice, trouble saying words clearly, loss of bladder control, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing.
Please see additional Important Safety Information below.
“After my diagnosis with Chronic Migraine, my headache specialist recommended a different type of medication to try, which was BOTOX®. He told me it was the only medicine FDA-approved to reduce headache days for my type of condition,” says Kelly. “After I did my research, I met back up with my doctor. We went over the risks, such as neck pain and headaches, and the benefits again, and we decided that it was the right option for me.”
“These days I’m making fewer marks in my headache diary, and there are some days where I don’t even make a mark at all,” says Kelly.
In addition to seeking treatment, people living with Chronic Migraine can work to ensure a joyful holiday season and New Year by following a few tips below in order to avoid specific migraine triggers.
- Manage your food triggers. Holiday and New Year’s parties are chock-full of ripe cheeses, processed meats, and chocolate – all of which can be a trigger for headaches. Keep an eye out for healthier options, or bring something of your own
- Drink in moderation. Alcohol can be a trigger 3 for many people so be careful not to over-indulge at those New Year’s Eve parties.
- Stay hydrated. Since dehydration is a migraine trigger 3 for many people living with Chronic Migraine, make sure to drink lots of water before and during any holiday celebrations.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule. With long days of travel to see friends and family and late nights at New Year’s Eve parties, this can prove to be a challenge. It's recommended that people living with migraine go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including weekends, holidays, and vacations – so try your best to stick to a normal bedtime.
BOTOX® (onabotulinumtoxinA) IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION (continued)
There has not been a confirmed serious case of spread of toxin effect away from the injection site when BOTOX® has been used at the recommended dose to treat Chronic Migraine.
BOTOX® may cause loss of strength or general muscle weakness, vision problems, or dizziness within hours to weeks of taking BOTOX®. If this happens, do not drive a car, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities.
Do not take BOTOX® if you: are allergic to any of the ingredients in BOTOX® (see Medication Guide for ingredients); had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product such as Myobloc® (rimabotulinumtoxinB), Dysport® (abobotulinumtoxinA), or Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA); have a skin infection at the planned injection site.
The dose of BOTOX® is not the same as, or comparable to, another botulinum toxin product.
Serious and/or immediate allergic reactions have been reported. They include itching, rash, red itchy welts, wheezing, asthma symptoms, or dizziness or feeling faint. Get medical help right away if you experience symptoms; further injection of BOTOX® should be discontinued.
Tell your doctor about all your muscle or nerve conditions such as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome, as you may be at increased risk of serious side effects including difficulty swallowing and difficulty breathing from typical doses of BOTOX®.
Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you: have or have had bleeding problems; have plans to have surgery; had surgery on your face; weakness of forehead muscles; trouble raising your eyebrows; drooping eyelids; any other abnormal facial change; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant (it is not known if BOTOX® can harm your unborn baby); are breastfeeding or plan to (it is not known if BOTOX® passes into breast milk).
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Using BOTOX®with certain other medicines may cause serious side effects. Do not start any new medicines until you have told your doctor that you have received BOTOX® in the past.
Tell your doctor if you have received any other botulinum toxin product in the last 4 months; have received injections of botulinum toxin such as Myobloc®,Dysport®, or Xeomin® in the past (tell your doctor exactly which product you received); have recently received an antibiotic by injection; take muscle relaxants; take an allergy or cold medicine; take a sleep medicine; take aspirin-like products or blood thinners.
Other side effects of BOTOX® include: dry mouth, discomfort or pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, neck pain, and eye problems: double vision, blurred vision, decreased eyesight, drooping eyelids, swelling of your eyelids, and dry eyes.
For more information refer to the Medication Guide or talk with your doctor.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please see BOTOX® (onabotulinumtoxinA) full Product Information including Boxed Warning and Medication Guide.
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 Headache Classification Subcommittee of the International Headache Society. The International Classification of Headache Disorders: 3rd edition. Cephalalgia. 2013;33(9):629–808.
 Assessing Baarriers to Chronic Migraine Consultation, Diagnosis, and Treatment: Results from the Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO) Study - Dodick et al. 2016, Headache.
 Hildreth, C, MD. “Migraine Headache.” The Journal of the American Medical Association. 301 (2009) 2608 Online. 19 September 2011
 Web MD 2016 December; Migraines & Headaches Health Center: Migraines: Identifying and avoiding triggers. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/identifying-and-avoiding-migraine-triggers