, Volume 9, Issue 2-3, pp 149-159

Botulinum toxin for gastrointestinal disorders: Therapy and mechanisms

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Abstract

Botulinum toxin has gained widespread acceptance as a treatment option for various spastic gastrointestinal disorders such as achalasia, gastroparesis, sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, chronic anal fissures, and pelvic floor dyssnergia, despite the lack of strong evidence supporting its use in many of these disorders. This review summarizes the trials investigating the use of BoNT since it was first utilized as a treatment in achalasia. BoNT has proven to be safe, but long-term efficacy in many disorders has not been observed, primarily due to is relatively short duration of action. BoNT may be most useful in confirming a diagnosis which can lead to a more definitive treatment modality. Furthermore, its safety profile allows it to be a useful alternative in patients who are at high risk for invasive procedures.