Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Readapt Med Phys. 2004 Oct;47(8):575-89.

[Pharmacology and upper limb poststroke spasticity: a review. International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics].

[Article in French]

Author information

Service de médecine physique et de réadaptation, GH Lariboisière, F.-Widal, AP-HP, 200, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, 75475 Paris, cedex 10, France. <>



The present study, conducted for the consensus conference "Orthotic management of stroke patients", organized by the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics, on September 2003, reviews the pharmacological, general, or local treatments available for post-stroke upper-limb spasticity.


A search of the international literature in the Medline and the Reedoc data banks for papers related to post-stroke upper-limb spasticity. Each paper was given a rating of A, B, or C (in term of quality) according to the instructions of the organization committee.


General pharmacological treatments such as use of baclofen, tizanidine and dantrolene, regional treatments such as intrathecal baclofen, and local treatments with use of chemical neurolysis and alcohol or phenol are recommended for conditions described in papers with a grade of B. Neuromuscular blockade with botulinum toxin is recommended for conditions described in papers with a grade of A.


Despite a satisfactory grade of recommendation, general pharmacological treatments are limited by adverse events and lack of evidence of functional benefit. Intrathecal baclofen should be discussed for upper-limb spasticity, but further studies are needed before its use can be recommended. The place of chemical neurolysis with use of alcohol or phenol should be evaluated with surgical neurotomy and botulinum toxin therapy. The use of botulinum toxin is the only treatment supported by scientific results, but many questions remain about the site of injection, how to improve efficacy and influence on neurological recovery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center