Botox has been known for treating men and women who want to tame and erase their fine lines and wrinkles. But now, the injectable is being used for more than just appearance, and for those of a younger age.
A recent study says that administering Botox to kids and teens may help reduce their migraines. A small number of individuals from the ages of eight to 17 have been tested thus far. TIME Magazine says Botox has already been administered to adults with much success. However, this is the first time it has been tested on children and young adults.
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine said they tested nine people with migraines from ages eight to 17. The majority of the nine individuals who were involved in the study had been hospitalized in the past due to migraine pain. Others were home-schooled because their migraines took too much of a toll on their daily life.
At the start of the study, the kids and teens involved experienced migraines eight to 30 times a month. The study shows that the Botox testers who received the injections every 12 weeks over a five year period had positive changes with their migraines. After the treatment, the migraines were reduced to two to 10 times a month.
Over 1,000 combined injections were administered to participants of this study. Out of those 1,000, only eight came back with negative effects. Most of the negative effects were due to pain near the injection site, which only lasted for a few hours.
Children who currently deal with migraines on a daily basis don’t have any other treatment option other than to take some over-the-counter medication. Some of these medications aren’t very effective for potentially debilitating migraines. And unfortunately, upwards of 40% of all children have experienced a headache by age seven.
The author of the study, Dr. Shalini Shah, Chief of pain medicine and Director of pain services at UC Irvine Health, spoke with TIME magazine.
“When it comes to pain management in children, it’s an extrapolation of everything we know in adult literature,” Shah said. “[Botox for migraines] is phenomenal in terms of success in adults. It should be extrapolated in children.”
The annual plastic surgery procedural statistics say there were 15.9 million surgical and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures performed in 2015 in the United States. That is a 2% increase compared to 2014. Botox, which is among the minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures, is generally considered to be safe.
More research needs to be done before children and teens can be approved for the injection. However, Dr. Shah and her colleagues are currently in the process of enrolling more young adults and children in an intense randomized controlled trial that should be able to produce more proof of safety and effectiveness.