Mar 27, 2002
Laurie Barclay, MD
NEW YORK (MedscapeWire)
Botulinum toxin A (Botox) offers safe and long-lasting treatment of hemifacial spasm, based on a retrospective 10-year review from multiple centers reported in the March issue of the Archives of Neurology.
"Treatment with Botox effectively induces sustained relief from symptoms of hemifacial spasm in the long term, with only minimal and transient adverse reactions," write Giovanni Defazio, MD, and colleagues from the University of Bari in Italy.
Defazio's group reviewed medical records of the first and tenth years of treatment in 65 patients with primary hemifacial spasm treated with regular Botox injections for at least 10 years.
During the first year, response rate was 95%, and overall mean duration of improvement was 12.6 weeks. Botox was just as effective in relieving the symptoms of primary hemifacial spasm in the tenth year; the response rate, average duration of improvement, and effective doses were similar in both the first and the tenth years.
Frequency of local adverse effects including upper lid ptosis, facial weakness, and diplopia decreased significantly in the tenth year of treatment.
"This outcome compares well with shorter-term results," the authors write. "Botox use seems to induce substantial, sustained relief over time."
Arch Neurol. 2002;59(3):418-420
Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD
MedscapeWire 2002. © 2002 Medscape Portals, Inc.