The following discussion is for general informational purposes only and is not meant to provide the reader with specific medical advice. Please consult with your personal physician, or with a neurologist, for specific advice, guidance and information regarding your particular circumstances.
Botox, the best known form of Botulinum toxin, has been increasingly used in Neurology practice since its first approval by FDA in 1989. In addition to its popular role for cosmetic purposes, it has been used in the treatment of multiple neurological conditions including migraines, cervical dystonia (tilted neck), facial and eye lid twitches (blepharospasms), limb spasticity (secondary to stroke, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis), and hyperhydrosis, among others.
Botox works by blocking the neurotransmitter release from nerve endings to muscle, allowing the muscle to relax. As a result, abnormal movements or muscle contractions are decreased.
Botox is not a cure. Individual response to Botox treatment varies. Overall, the treatment success rate is very high and the majority of patients who receive this treatment are pleased with the benefit. On average, its effects last about 3 months and generally, repeat treatment is required.
Botox treatment is not without side effects, but they are extremely rare and transient. After long term use of Botox, there is a slight chance developing resistance and the treatment appears less effective. There are other available toxins which can be equally effective and can be options for patients who develop resistance to Botox.
For torticollis, spasticity, and other dystonias, most insurances including Medicare, cover the treatment. For other indications, it varies and frequently a pre-authorization from your insurance company is needed. Your physician and the staff will help you understand your specific benefits relating to toxin injections. .