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Botulinum Toxin A Unsuccessful For Treating Myofascial Pain Syndrome

A recent trial exploring the effectiveness of Botulinum Toxin A to treat cervical myofascial pain syndrome has shown that the drug did not perform well in the long-term among the patients treated.

The study, presented at the 2010 annual autumn meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, in Phoenix, showed that the eight patients
who received the injections in three trigger points experienced reductions in pain for only eight weeks.

These results are in line with prior research, the bulk of which “do not support the use of Botox-A trigger point injections for myofascial pain,” said Jarred Younger, PhD, assistant professor in pain management in the Department of Anesthesia at Stanford University School of Medicine, in California.

All participants in the study had experienced inadequate relief from prior conservative treatments, and were asked not to receive adjunct treatments for the 12-week study duration.

Dr. Younger noted that the disappointing results could be attributed to the fact that the subjects had not responded to prior treatments and thus might have had particularly recalcitrant forms of myofascial pain.

He concluded that, “Although Botox-A was superior to saline in reducing cervical myofascial pain, the average degree and durability of the pain relief was not sufficient to recommend using it as a first-line treatment for the condition.”

Previous trials examining the effectiveness of Botox-A for treating myofascial pain have yielded mixed results.

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