BOTOX or botulinum toxin type A has been licensed worldwide as a preventative treatment for chronic migraine.

The license granted to the Allergan's prophylactic by UK's MHRA gives chronic migraine sufferers an alternative to triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, β-blockers and anti-epileptics in treating migraine.

The BOTOX licensing follows the largest clinical trial programme in chronic migraine called PREEMPT or Phase III REsearch Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy. Under the programme, patients treated with BOTOX® experienced significantly fewer headache days compared to those patients treated with placebo. quoted Wendy Thomas, chief executive of The Migraine Trust as saying, Chronic migraine is currently an under-researched, under-diagnosed and under-treated condition. We know that treatment with acute pain medication does not always work for these patients so we welcome new therapies, especially preventative medication, for this potentially disabling condition.

BOTOX, which contains tiny amounts of highly purified botulinum toxin protein refined from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, is also licensed in the UK for the treatment of uncontrolled blinking of the eyelids; involuntary twitching of facial muscles on one side of the face; cervical dystonia, a neck muscle condition that makes it difficult to hold the head up straight; excessive sweating of the armpits; cerebral palsy; and wrist and hand disability associated with stroke in adults. BOTOX is also licensed under the brand name of VISTABEL® for the treatment of frown lines.