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Eur J Neurol. 2008 Mar;15(3):205-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2007.02051.x.

Pericranial injection of botulinum toxin type A (Dysport) for tension-type headache - a multicentre, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.

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Department of Neurology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany.


Increasingly, botulinum type A toxin is used to influence pathologically increased muscle activity in conditions such as dystonia and spasticity. Studies have also assessed its efficacy in tension-type headache, where muscle tenderness may be increased. We undertook a prospective, multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Patients received injections of Dysport (total dose of 420 or 210 units) or saline placebo in 18 sites on the head and neck. Of 125 patients treated, 118 were included in the intention-to-treat dataset. No significant differences between each verum group and placebo were seen for the primary efficacy parameter - change in the number of headache-free days at 4-8 weeks after injection compared with 4 weeks before injection. The groups receiving 420 or 210 units of Dysport experienced 2.60 and 2.87 more headache-free days respectively, compared with 1.93 more headache-free days for the placebo group (P = 0.66 versus 420 units; P = 0.52 versus 210 units). Treatment with 420 units of Dysport was associated with significant improvements compared with placebo for two secondary efficacy parameters: mean change in headache duration from baseline to weeks 8-12 (P < 0.05) and improved global physician and patient assessment scores (P < 0.05). Further studies should address the possible value of multiple injections with extended observation periods, dose optimization, and whether duration of headache history and number of previous treatments are predictors of patient response.

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