HealthDay News — Subcutaneous botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) injections appear to safely and effectively reduce chronic neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord injury, according to a study published in the Annals of Neurology.
Zee-A Han, MD, PhD, from the National Rehabilitation Center in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues evaluated a one-time subcutaneous BTX-A (200 units) injection in 40 patients with spinal cord injury-associated neuropathic pain. Pain and quality of life assessments were made before treatment and at 4 weeks and 8 weeks after the injection.
The researchers found that among the responders in the BTX-A group at 4 and 8 weeks after injection, 55% and 45%, respectively, reported pain relief of 20% or greater. By comparison, only 15% and 10% of the responders in the placebo group reported a similar level of pain relief. Pain relief was tied to preservation of motor or sensory function below the neurological level of injury. For the physical health domain of the WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment, improvements in the BTX-A group showed a marginal trend toward significance at 4 weeks after the injection.
“These results indicate that BTX-A may reduce intractable chronic neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord injury,” the authors write.
Medytox, a maker of botulinum toxin products, supported the study.