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Botox for kids?

In 2012, the journal Headache, published an article on a 2-part clinical trial testing the effects of injecting the drug Botox in to head, neck and shoulder muscles in over 1,400 patients. This research helped build the case for the approval of Botox being used as a treatment for chronic migraines in the United States later than same year. This nerve paralyzing drug which contains a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum is being used to treat cross-eyes, abnormal squinting and eyelid twitching as well as neck and shoulder muscle spasms and severe sweating. According to CNN, to reap the benefits of this therapy to treat chronic migraines, 31 injections in seven different locations on the head and neck have to be administered. Despite the daunting requirements of the procedure, the study found that 70% of patients had at least half as many days with migraine.

When I was in middle school, one of my classmates, Amanda, suffered from chronic migraines. She was on medication that she took every day it seemed. As an outsider, she looked as if she was in excruciating pain and it would often scare me.  Her quality of life seemed so poor back then. I do not know how common chronic migraines present in young children, but I wonder if she could have benefited from such a therapy.

Would you let your child get Botox injections? Would she or he end up look like one of the Housewives of Miami?

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  • Obviously, the Botox injections have taken a serious turn with the allegations that Botox lead to this child's death. After getting injected, Dee Spears had trouble with breathing and swallowing; it remains to be seen whether or not Botox played a role. As one doctor explained it, "All drugs have potential side effects and one side effect of Botox is that it can, on occasion, migrate from the injection site, to other muscle groups. When this hits the respiratory muscles, it can make breathing difficult."