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    Wednesday, September 08, 2004

    Drawbacks: The wife of producer Mike Medavoy is suing her dermatologist:

    Irena Medavoy — former model, actress and now wife of movie producer Mike Medavoy — filed a lawsuit against one of tinseltown's top dermatologists, Dr. Arnold Klein.

    After using Botox for her wrinkles, Medavoy says Klein suggested using Botox for her migraine headaches.

    While Botox has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of wrinkles, it is not yet approved for migraine treatment.

    Medavoy says she didn't know that her famous doctor was making money from the company that makes Botox. The former model says Dr. Klein was on the company payroll as a $100,000-a-year consultant.

    She also claims she didn't know that other people treated with Botox had reported traumatic experiences.

    Medavoy says she told Klein to go ahead with the treatments. But after they were complete, she claimed Klein gave her too much of the drug, resulting in an unrelenting headache that made her too ill to play with her son or go out with her husband.

    "I couldn't hold my head up," she said on ABC News' Good Morning America. "My neck muscle, where it was injected in my neck, could not support my head. It was like a bowling ball on a pin. I couldn't sleep. I, when I laid down, it was as if someone was torturing me. I was bedridden. I couldn't function. I had a fever of 102. I had breathing problems. I had difficulty swallowing."

    Wow. $100,000 a year as a consultant? How many researchers could a drug company hire for that? Right out of graduate school, I would think at least two, no?

    Botox is a potential treatment for chronic headaches. It's experimental, however. The doctor had a duty to make sure his patient realized that. It doesn't appear that he did.

    I attended a conference last month and heard a neurologist say that the evidence for the effectiveness of Botox in headaches was mixed, at best. But a PubMed search shows only optimism on the subject. On the other hand this review of the evidence says there's "insufficient positive evidence" to support its use for headaches. Sounds like it might help some, but not many chronic headache sufferers. As is so often the case with therapies for chronic pain.

    posted by Sydney on 9/08/2004 07:21:00 AM 0 comments


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