Comparative trial of botulinum toxin type A and methylprednisolone for the treatment of tension-type headache
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- Porta, M. Current Review of Pain (2000) 4: 31. doi:10.1007/s11916-000-0007-5
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Tension-type headache (TH) is a common condition, the pathophysiology of which remains undetermined. Evidence implicates sustained contraction of pericranial muscles to be a major cause. A recent preliminary study demonstrated the effectiveness of botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) in patients suffering from chronic TH. To further investigate this, we performed a study to compare the efficacy of BTXA with the steroid methylprednisolone (both administered with the local anesthetic lidocaine), when administered by injection into the tender points of cranial muscles in patients with TH.
A significant decrease in the median pain score (assessed using a standard visual analogue scale [VAS]) was observed at 60 days post injection of BTX-A compared with the pain score achieved following steroid therapy. All patients treated with BTX-A experienced a gradual decrease in median pain severity scores at 30 days and 60 days post treatment. The beneficial effects of BTX-A therapy continued to improve 60 days following injection, whereas the effects of steroid therapy at this time point began to decline. This study clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of BTX-A for the treatment of TH.