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Eur J Neurol. 2006 Dec;13 Suppl 4:35-40.

Safety and efficacy of botulinum toxin type A following long-term use.

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Department of Neurology, Academic Hospital Klinikum Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany.


Botulinum toxin serotype A (BoNT-A) has long heritage of use leading to confidence in its safety and efficacy. The application of BoNT-A does not lead to persistent histological changes in the nerve terminal or the target muscle. Clinical trials defined the safety and tolerability profile of BoNT-A across common therapeutic indications and showed an incidence of adverse events of approximately 25% in the BoNT-A-treated group compared with 15% in the control group. Focal weakness was the only adverse event to occur more often following BoNT-A treatment. Long-term BoNT-A administration has been assessed in various treatment settings, with the level and duration of BoNT-A efficacy response being maintained over repeated rounds of injection with no major safety concerns. The treatment of children with cerebral palsy often require long-term, repeated, multimuscle BoNT-A injections that lead to the administration of comparably higher toxin doses. Despite the high total body doses used, their distribution over multiple muscles and injection sites means that systemic side effects are rare. Recent formulation changes have reduced the incidence of antibody development following treatment with BOTOX. These findings show long-term BoNT-A treatment to be both safe and efficacious for a wide variety of indications.

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