Draft guidance means using Botox to treat migraines is now a step nearer

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The use of Botox to treat chronic migraine on the NHS has moved a step nearer.

Health watchdog the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published final draft guidance which recommends the anti-wrinkle jab for the condition.

NICE is advising the NHS whether the benefits of Botox, known chemically as botulinum toxin type A and manufactured by Allergan, for chronic migraine are value for money.

The draft guidance recommends that injections should be stopped if the person’s headaches have not improved enough after two treatment cycles, or if the person’s ‘headache days’ have reduced to fewer than 15 days a month over three consecutive months.

This is because they will have a different type of migraine, called episodic migraine, which is not covered in Allergan’s licence for Botox.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the Health Technology Evaluation Centre at NICE, says: ‘Chronic migraines are extremely debilitating and can significantly affect a person’s quality of life.

‘We are pleased that the committee has been able to recommend Botox as a preventative therapy for those adults whose headaches have not improved despite trying at least three other medications and whose headaches are not caused by medication overuse.

She adds: ‘We have not yet issued guidance to the NHS on the use of this drug.’