POSTED: Friday, May 11, 2012 - 10:14am
UPDATED: Friday, May 11, 2012 - 12:39pm
UK — Everyone's heard of botox.
It's what celebrities use to make themselves more beautiful.
But it turns out it's not just for pretty faces.
Botox also has medical uses and NICE, the medical watchdog, has just approved it on the NHS for preventing migraine.
Karen Conville has had chronic migraine for seven years with almost daily headaches.
For nine months she's been paying for botox treatment because it hasn't been available on the NHS.
"Before I had the botox, you know I was lucky if I got one or two days without headache in a month, said Conville. "Now I have about 15 days without headache every month on average with the botox. So to me it means I've got half of my life back."
Seven hundred thousand people suffer from chronic migraines, but not all will be offered botox.
You'll only be eligible if three other treatments have failed.
Neurologist Mark Weatherall explained each session involves several injections to the head and can be repeated, but it's not a panacea.
"The people who come into my clinic who are waiting for botox have tried lots of other treatments and they either haven't worked or they've caused them intolerable side effects," Dr. Weatherall said. "It won't work for everybody, but I know for a significant proportion of the people I'm able to give this treatment to now it will revolutionize their lives. It will significantly reduce the number of headaches they get and it's going to make a huge difference for them."
Amazingly, no one knows exactly how the botox injections work, but for many people, they clearly do.