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Botox approved for upper limb spasticity

The US FDA has approved Allergan's Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) for the treatment of elbow, wrist and finger stiffness in adults

Allergan has announced that the US FDA has approved Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) for the treatment of increased elbow, wrist and finger muscle stiffness in adults with upper limb spasticity.

In treating upper limb spasticity, Botox is injected directly into the affected muscles. It works by blocking overactive nerve impulses that trigger muscle contractions.

Spasticity is a debilitating, although non-life-threatening, condition often experienced following a stroke. Spasticity of the upper limbs can also occur following spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries, or in patients affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy.

"The approval of Botox marks another important evolution in medical care, as we look to raise greater recognition and understanding of upper limb spasticity among patients affected by the condition, and refer them to a neurologist or physiatrist to explore their various treatment options," said Dr Mitchell F Brin, Allergan's senior vice president Global Development, chief scientific officer, Botox.

Data from clinical trials show that Botox had a persistent efficacy of around three months. It is the first and only neurotoxin approved by the FDA for the treatment of upper limb spasticity.

Although most commonly known for its cosmetic application to improve the appearance of frownlines, Botox was first approved by the FDA in 1989 as a treatment for certain eye muscle and eyelid spasm problems.

Botox is approved in around 80 countries for 21 different indications. It is approved in the US as a treatment for abnormal head position and neck pain caused by cervical dystonia and also as a therapy for severe underarm sweating in cases where topical applications are ineffective.

10th March 2010

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