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Biological activity of two botulinum toxin type A complexes (Dysport® and Botox®) in volunteers

A double-blind, randomized, dose-ranging study

An Erratum to this article was published on 02 July 2009


Despite extensive clinical experience and published data regarding botulinum toxin, questions remain about the clinical substitution of one botulinum toxin formulation for another. In the case of Dysport® and Botox®, doseequivalence ratios ranging from 1:1 to 6:1 (Dysport:Botox) have been advocated. This dose-ranging, electroneurographic study investigated the dose equivalence, diffusion characteristics (spread) and safety of these two type-A toxins in 79 volunteers. Dysport and Botox caused significant and similar reductions in compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude in the target muscle (extensor digitorum brevis, EDB) 2 weeks after injection, with effects persisting to the 12-week timepoint. For both products, the reduction in amplitude was increased with increasing doses and with increasing concentration. The effects of toxin on neighbouring muscles were much smaller and of a shorter duration than those on the target muscle, implying a modest spread of toxin. Unlike the target muscle, the effects were greater with the higher volume, suggesting this volume led to greater diffusion from the EDB. No adverse events were reported. Statistical modelling with CMAP amplitude data from the target muscle gave a bioequivalence of 1.57 units of Dysport:1 unit of Botox (95 % CI: 0.77–3.20 units). The data indicate that a dose-equivalence ratio of 3:1 was within the statistical error limits, but ratios over 3:1 are too high.

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Correspondence to K. Wohlfarth MD, PhD.

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Wohlfarth, K., Schwandt, I., Wegner, F. et al. Biological activity of two botulinum toxin type A complexes (Dysport® and Botox®) in volunteers. J Neurol 255, 1932–1939 (2008).

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Key words

  • botulinum toxin
  • Dysport
  • Botox
  • dose equivalence
  • randomized controlled trial