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Botox or Magnesium for Migraines?

Published on October 20, 2010

Closing Statements & Medical Malpractice


This concluding chapter for the second edition of my Transdermal Magnesium Therapy book provides a glaring example of magnesium ignorance and the price people pay for this ignorance. Four years ago when I published the first edition of this book I was told by an FDA whistleblower that a copy of my book was sitting on someone’s desk at the FDA. Their decision to approve the use of Botox for migraines last week shows that they did not take the magnesium research and science presented seriously. The only conclusion I can come to about this is that they are paid-off medical officials who do not want to upset their medical masters at the big pharmaceutical companies whose business models do not include the use of medical substances that are natural and non-patentable.

Federal health officials actually approved the wrinkle-smoothing injection Botox for migraine headaches in October 2010, giving the drug maker Allergan clearance to begin marketing its drug to patients with a serious history of the condition. The drug won approval earlier this year to treat spasms in the elbows, wrists, and fingers. But it’s also widely used off-label to treat broader movement disorders such as cerebral palsy. Botox works by blocking the connections between nerves and muscle, temporarily paralyzing the muscle. The drug is a purified form of botulinum, one of the most toxic substances in the world.

Migraines can be a totally disabling ailment that can render the sufferer incapable of performing even the most basic daily tasks.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for patients who experience 15 or more days of migraine headaches per month. Allergan, which specializes in beauty and eye-care drugs, said roughly 3.2 million people in the U.S. have chronic migraines. For the new use, doctors are directed to inject patients in the neck or head every 12 weeks to dull future headaches.

Botulinum toxin A

Botulinum toxin is made by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. The bacteria themselves (and their spores) are harmless, but the toxin is considered one of the most lethal known poisons, one that has been a principle agent in biological warfare.[1] It binds to nerve endings where they join muscles, leading to weakness or paralysis. Recovery from botulism occurs when the nerves grow new endings, which can take months, according to the FDA.[2]

It is interesting to go back to a 2008 NIH study that states Botulinum toxin A is not effective in the prophylaxis of episodic migraine. The same study reported that magnesium, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10 are good treatment options and that magnesium may be particularly useful during pregnancy.”[3] Dr. Sarah DeRossett, American neurologist and headache specialist, was quoted in July 2003 in support of magnesium and riboflavin/vitamin B2 for migraine sufferers. “Patients who have migraines have lower blood levels of magnesium than patients who don’t have migraines.”The results of a 2008 study showed that magnesium proved to be beneficial in the prophylaxis of migraines and might work with both vascular and neurogenic mechanisms.

The FDA approved the new use based on two company studies of more than 1,300 patients who received either a Botox injection or a placebo injection. Patients who received Botox reportedslightly fewer “headache days” than patients given the placebo treatment. Patients on Botox reported about two fewer headache days than patients who did not receive the drug. It is hard to understand the medical reasoning for the FDA approval of Botox poison for migraine sufferers based on these slim results.

Understanding only comes when we look at the FDA as a chemical terrorist organization whose very existence is to promote and provide the most dangerous and poisonous substances possible for medical use. The FDA knows about magnesium and how it can be very effective, when used correctly, to treat migraines and a host of diseases. They know magnesium deficiency is a great plague affecting most everyone today but they still prefer to promote a poison instead of addressing the cause and source of people’s migraines.

Last year, in the spirit of giving a bone to their staffers, the FDA did order manufacturers of all botulinum products to strengthen warnings that the toxins may cause muscle weakness and life-threatening breathing or swallowing difficulties if the poison spreads beyond the injection site. But that did not stop the agency from approving Botox for migraines even though they knew it was hurting people.

Now we see reports of increasing numbers of teenagers going for Botox treatments and doctors (dermatologists) promoting this.  In 2009, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reported 12,110 Botox or Dysport (another botulinum poison) procedures were performed on patients 18 and under, up from 8,194 in 2008. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported 11,889 cosmetic Botox or Dysport procedures were performed on patients age 13 to 19, an increase of 2 percent from 2008.

48-year-old Dr. Sharla Helton alleged that Botox injections caused her constant pain, blurred vision, and difficulty breathing—all symptoms consistent with botulism. “Botox is lethal and the problem is you can’t really tell where you are injecting it,” says Ray Chester, Helton’s attorney who won $15 million in damages for her. “If you hit a blood vessel or if the Botox spreads outside the muscle, it can travel body wide and lead to botulism. This is a toxin,” says Chester. “It has been studied as a biological weapon and is actually the most lethal substance on the planet.”

On April 2, 2008 it was revealed in the Journal of Neuroscience (JN) that an Italian study conducted by the National Research Council’s Institute of Neuroscience of Pisa, Italy found that protein associated with botulinum toxin injected into the whisker muscles of rats had migrated to the area of the brain stem within three days of injection. Researchers also discovered that the toxin migrated to various other parts of the brain that controls long-term memory and spatial navigation, and from the superior colliculus—which is associated with eye-head coordination—back to the eye.

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Magnesium for Migraines

Magnesium researcher Dr. Herbert Mannsman, founder of the Magnesium Research Lab maintained that, “It’s very likely that magnesium deficiency is a widespread cause of migraines.” Studies show that many people don’t even come close to getting the Daily Value of magnesium, which is 400 milligrams. “On a daily basis, 30-40 percent of American people take less than 75 percent of the Daily Value of magnesium,” said Dr. Mansmann.

Dr. Linda Rapson, who specializes in treating chronic pain, believes that about 70 percent of her patients who complain of muscle pain, cramps, and fatigue are showing signs of magnesium deficiency. “Virtually all of them improve when I put them on magnesium,” says Rapson, who runs a busy Toronto pain clinic. “It may sound too good to be true, but it’s a fact.” She’s seen the mineral work in those with fibromyalgia, migraines, and constipation. “The scientific community should take a good hard look at this.”

Many people needlessly suffer pain—including fibromyalgia, migraines, and muscle cramps—because they do not get enough magnesium,” says Dr. Mildred Seelig, a leading magnesium researcher at the University of North Carolina. The problem is exacerbated when they load up on calcium, thinking it will help, when in fact, an overabundance of calcium flushes magnesium out of cells, compromising the effectiveness of both minerals. Prescription medications, such as antidepressants, tranquilizers, and pain medications only treat the symptoms. Magnesium treats the symptoms while it simultaneously addresses the cause.


In the 90s cardiovascular biologist Dr. Burton M. Altura of the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn witnessed a therapeutic benefit of magnesium in acute symptoms such as headache pain. Dr. Altura administered a solution containing one gram of magnesium sulfate intravenously to 40 patients who visited a headache clinic in the throes of moderate to severe pain. They treated migraine sufferers with cluster and chronic daily headaches. Within 15 minutes, 32 of the men and women—80 percent—experienced relief. Though the headaches may not have vanished completely, the pain lessened by at least 50 percent.

In 18 of these individuals, the pain relief lasted at least 24 hours. Blood tests before treatment confirmed that all but four in this latter group had ionized magnesium concentrations that were lower than the average in a related group of pain-free individuals. “All nine patients with cluster headaches had their acute headache aborted by magnesium therapy.” Migraine sufferers who responded to the treatment experienced a complete alleviation of their current symptoms, including sensitivity to lights and sound. Subsequent studies of additional migraine patients have confirmed a common pattern, Altura says. “Those patients where ionized magnesium in the brain or blood is low will respond to intravenous magnesium very quickly and dramatically.”

My youngest son suffers with migraines. Typically nothing helps him except consistent adjustments from the chiropractor. The same night that I first tried this on my daughter for the constipation, my son had an awful migraine and was very sick from it. I took some of the magnesium oil and began rubbing his neck and the base of his skull with it. After a few minutes he said “ooh that feels good” and fell asleep. When he woke up the headache was gone!!! Now, I’m convinced!!! I will never be without magnesium oil in my house! I am still stunned that this worked so quickly with my children.
– Debbie Graves

For a long list of testimonies on how magnesium helped migraine sufferers please visit the Magnesium Online Library site. Mauskop et al. reported a deficiency in ionized magnesium in 45 percent of attacks of menstrual migraine, while only 15 percent of non-menstrually-related attacks had a deficiency. They also demonstrated that attacks associated with low ionized magnesium could be aborted by intravenous magnesium infusions. Facchinetti et al. demonstrated that menstrual migraine could be prevented by administration of oral magnesium during the last 15 days of the menstrual cycle. There is no shortage of evidence that magnesium is effective in reducing migraine frequency and pain:

  1. A 1992 study in Italy found that women with menstrual migraine who took magnesium at 360 mg/day beginning on day 15 of their menstrual cycle had decreased days of migraine and decreased total pain by the second month of the regimen.[4]

  2. A 1996 study in Germany found that migraine sufferers taking 600 mg of magnesium daily for 12 weeks had 41.6 percent fewer attacks than they had suffered before the treatment. The beneficial effects were seen by the ninth week of treatment.[5]

  3. A 2003 study in the United States (California) found the migraine-suffering children (ages 3-17) given magnesium at 9 mg/kg/day had a small but significant decrease in migraine frequency and severity relative to the group taking a placebo.[6]

Obviously the FDA is not interested in what causes migraines and what needs to be done to help people with their suffering and pain. Some of the clearly identified triggers or factors that cause the headaches include:

• Allergies and allergic reactions
• Bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes
• Physical or emotional stress
• Changes in sleep patterns or irregular sleep
• Smoking or exposure to smoke
• Skipping meals or fasting
• Alcohol

All of these relate to magnesium deficiencies, meaning Botox will be of little help (as the company’s studies clearly show). Botox is a potent poison that only fools play around with and that does little more than give a slight break from the blinding headaches—this at great cost of exposing patients to yet another poison with nasty side effects. The FDA will do just about anything to block access to anything that truly helps people, especially if it’s something natural that the pharmaceutical companies cannot profit from.

Just to give you some interesting background about Allergan, the company that makes Botox—on October 5, 2010 they were ordered by a judge to pay $375 million to resolve Justice Department allegations that it promoted Botox for headache, pain, and juvenile cerebral palsy from 2000 to 2005 without U.S. approval. The plea was approved by U.S. District Judge Orinda Evans in Atlanta. It includes a $350 million criminal fine and $25 million in forfeited assets, the Justice Department said. The company also agreed to a five-year compliance plan requiring it to disclose payments to doctors on its website and provide annual certification by senior executives and board members that divisions meet federal health-care requirements.

All Botox product labels now warn that the effects of the botulinum toxin may spread from the area of injection to other areas of the body, causing symptoms similar to those of botulism. Those symptoms, which have mostly been seen in children with cerebral palsy who received injections off-label for treatment of muscle spasticity, include potentially life-threatening swallowing and breathing difficulties and even death. Between November 1, 1997 and December 31, 2006, the advocacy group Public Citizen reported that 658 people had adverse reactions to botulinum toxin. Of these, 180 people had difficulty swallowing or contracted aspiration pneumonia when food refluxed into the windpipe. Eighty-seven of those people had to be hospitalized and 16 died. All but one of the deaths were associated with therapeutic use.

These are the kinds of companies the FDA lords over. In this case, they have allowed proven criminals to pay the fine and begin to do the same criminal thing all over again with FDA approval. The FDA has magically declared this criminal organization to be legal and even trustworthy in dealing with people’s lives. As you will see in an essay coming later in the week about the FDA’s attack on safer heavy metal chelation, I consider the FDA to be a modern-day medical Gestapo complete with storm troopers sporting the nastiest of attitudes.


One can only conclude that pharmaceutical terrorism is alive and well and that the FDA and other medical organizations both inside and outside the government promote it. This chapter calls the entire framework of contemporary medicine into question because it is crystal clear that when doctors and the FDA ignore people’s magnesium deficiencies and their desperate need for supplementation, they are, in fact, in a state of malpractice.

It is medical malpractice to not put magnesium at the heart of every treatment because it is the lamp of life and because the vast majority of chronically ill people are magnesium deficient. The research and the clinical experience of many fine doctors could not be any clearer on this point. When doctors and medical officials ignore magnesium they are ignoring the basis of life—a basic cornerstone of natural allopathic medicine—that can improve and even save many people’s lives. When surgeons didn’t wash their hands, they killed people—and it’s the same with magnesium.

Pharmaceutical medicine is a mistake of modern man that hopefully will not stand the test of time because it is doing far more harm than good. Magnesium on the other hand will stand for eternity as one of the best medicines nature has given us. Modern medicine must embrace medical science, which fully sustains this view, or it will get what it deserves—risking extinction like the dinosaurs—falling into some black hole never to be seen again.

[1] Botulinum toxin has been a concern as a potential biological warfare agent since World War II. In response to concerns about Germany’s botulinum toxin research, the United States and Great Britain developed countermeasures against the toxin before the invasion of Europe. More recently, Iraq has been accused of producing large amounts of botulinum toxin for use as a biological warfare agent. The extreme toxicity of botulinum toxins and the ease of production, transport, and delivery make this an agent of extreme bioterrorism concern.

[4]Headache. 1991 May; 31(5):298-301

[5] Cephalalgia. 1996 Jun;16(4):257-263

Hi, I'm Dr. Mark Sircus, AC., OMD, DM (P), a doctor and writer of more than 23 books that have sold over 80,000 copies all over the world. My first major book was "Transdermal Magnesium Therapy" which afforded me the title of "Magnesium Man." It has been translated into five languages and has reduced the suffering of many people.

On my website there are hundreds if not a thousand free articles, so you can dive deep into my work. However if you need personalized help, you are more than welcome to schedule a consultation.

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