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J Headache Pain. 2009 Feb;10(1):27-34. doi: 10.1007/s10194-008-0082-2. Epub 2008 Nov 22.

Botulinum toxin: could it be an effective treatment for chronic tension-type headache?

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Department of Neurology, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.


Several clinical trials suggest that botulinum toxin type-A (BTX-A) may be an effective treatment option for patients with chronic tension-type headache (CTTH); however, controversy remains as to how the botulinum toxin optimally should be used for treating headache and which patient's profile fits this treatment. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of BTX-A for the prophylactic treatment of CCTH in Egyptian patients. This was a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled study of BTX-A for the treatment of patients aged 25-50 years old with CCTH. Following a 30-day screening, headache parameters and severity assessed by the standard visual analogue scale (VAS), and the 25-item Henry Ford Hospital Headache Disability Inventory (HDI) were recorded as a baseline. Then, injection was done with either BTX-A or with saline by a combination of two methods for detecting injection sites (the fixed-site approach and follow-the-pain approach). Our study showed significant improvement after 1 month of BTX-A injection regarding headache days/month, severity measured by VAS and HDI in headache severity. There was significant reduction of prophylactic medications, and there were minor complications, but these reversed spontaneously without further treatment. BTX-A was an effective and well-tolerated prophylactic treatment in Egyptian patients with CCTH.

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