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Treatment of Cervical Dystonia with Botulinum Toxin Type B Appears Safe

Cervical Dystonia

Cervical dystonia is a focal dystonia characterized by neck muscles that contract involuntarily. These contractions cause abnormal movements and an awkward posture of the head and neck. Treatment of dystonia can be difficult, but the use of botulinum toxin (BOTOX) has helped.

At the Movement Disorder Society's (MDS) 13th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders this week, the results of a study on safety of the use of botulinum toxin type B (BoNT-B) was reported. The study looked at the continuous use of BoNT-B up to a year interval, it’s safety, and the benefits.

The safety study involved 502 cervical dystonia patients. It was conducted over 7 years and involved multiple centers. The mean patient age was 54 years, most were Caucasian (96%) and female (68%).

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The botulinum toxin (BoNT-B) dosage used was in the range of 5,000 U to 25,000 U. The median dose was 17,500 U. The average time between injections was 91.33 (60 to 122 days). The mean duration of treatment was 3.4 years or about 14 treatment sessions with most patients reporting an improvement in their symptoms each time.

The most frequently reported adverse events were mild to moderate dry mouth (63%) or dysphagia (26.1%). Dysphagia is difficulty swallowing which may lead to aspirations. There were no events of aspiration, aspiration pneumonia, or botulism reported in this study.

The researchers have concluded long term, repeated doses of BoNT-B for the treatment of cervical dystonia is safe and well tolerated with good beneficial results.

MDS International Congress [Presentation title: Long-Term (7-Year) Cervical Dystonia Safety Study With Myobloc. Abstract MO-57]
Dystonia Foundation