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Botox touted for headaches

September 12, 2008|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Botox, the botulism-based drug that has wiped wrinkles from the faces of millions, may be approved for another use: stopping headaches.

Drug maker Allergan Inc. said Thursday that it had new evidence that its injectable drug could help relieve migraine headaches. Based on preliminary results from two company-funded studies, Allergan said it would ask the Food and Drug Administration to approve Botox for chronic migraine next year.

The FDA approved Botox to smooth wrinkles and age lines in 2002, and it has grown into a blockbuster product for Irvine-based Allergan, with $2.1 billion in sales last year. Doctors inject the drug directly into patients' foreheads every four months, paralyzing facial muscles that create wrinkles.

Although Botox is not approved by the FDA for the treatment of migraines, doctors have been using it in that way off-label.

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