Method of injection of onabotulinumtoxinA for chronic migraine: a safe, well-tolerated, and effective treatment paradigm based on the PREEMPT clinical program

Headache. 2010 Oct;50(9):1406-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2010.01766.x.


Chronic migraine (CM) is a prevalent and disabling neurological disorder. Few prophylactic treatments for CM have been investigated. OnabotulinumtoxinA, which inhibits the release of nociceptive mediators, such as glutamate, substance P, and calcitonin gene-related peptide, has been evaluated in randomized, placebo-controlled studies for the preventive treatment of a variety of headache disorders, including CM. These studies have yielded insight into appropriate patient selection, injection sites, dosages, and technique. Initial approaches used a set of fixed sites for the pericranial injections. However, the treatment approach evolved to include other sites that corresponded to the location of pain and tenderness in the individual patient in addition to the fixed sites. The Phase III REsearch Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy (PREEMPT) injection paradigm uses both fixed and follow-the-pain sites, with additional specific follow-the-pain sites considered depending on individual symptoms. The PREEMPT paradigm for injecting onabotulinumtoxinA has been shown to be safe, well-tolerated, and effective in well-designed, controlled clinical trials and is the evidence-based approach recommended to optimize clinical outcomes for patients with CM.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / administration & dosage*
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / adverse effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular / methods
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Migraine Disorders / physiopathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Neuromuscular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Neuromuscular Agents / adverse effects
  • Placebos
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Placebos
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A