Can Botox Reduce Chronic Neuropathic Pain?
Findings in small study of patients with spinal cord injury-associated pain.
HealthDay News -- Subcutaneous botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) injections appear to safely and effectively reduce chronic neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord injury, according to a study published in the Annals of Neurology.
Zee-A Han, MD, PhD, from the National Rehabilitation Center in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues evaluated a one-time subcutaneous BTX-A (200 units) injection in 40 patients with spinal cord injury-associated neuropathic pain. Pain and quality of life assessments were made before treatment and at four weeks and eight weeks after the injection.
The researchers found that among the responders in the BTX-A group at four and eight weeks after injection, 55% and 45%, respectively, reported pain relief of 20% or greater. By comparison, only 15 percent and 10 percent of the responders in the placebo group reported a similar level of pain relief. Pain relief was tied to preservation of motor or sensory function below the neurological level of injury. For the physical health domain of the WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment, improvements in the BTX-A group showed a marginal trend toward significance at four weeks after the injection.
"These results indicate that BTX-A may reduce intractable chronic neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord injury," the authors wrote.
Medytox, a maker of botulinum toxin products, supported the study.