Botulinum toxin type A – better known as Botox – has been approved for use by the NHS in Scotland as a treatment for chronic migraine for some patients.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium announced today that Botox had been accepted for the treatment of chronic migraine in patients who experienced headaches on at least 15 days a month and who had been unsuccessfully treated with the other therapy options available.

The SMC noted that, as well as pain, chronic migraine patients may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, hypersensitivity to light, sound and smell, and visual disturbances, which together can “carry a significant impact on daily life”.

“There are currently limited treatment options for these patients and botulinum toxin type A (Botox) can help reduce the number of days in which they experience headache,” stated the SMC.

In its advice, the consortium highlighted that, in pooled analysis of two “pivotal” trials, Botox had significantly reduced the frequency of headache days compared with placebo.