What is the efficacy of botulinum toxin (BTX) injections for the treatment of cluster headaches?

Updated: Jun 19, 2018
  • Author: Anthony H Wheeler, MD; Chief Editor: Meda Raghavendra (Raghu), MD  more...
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Cluster headache was the subject of several reports to determine any benefit from treatment with BTX. Case reports by Ginies and Fraimount, BTXA appeared to end cluster headache periods in 3 of 5 patients. [133] Freund and Schwartz reported that BTX-A ended a cluster period in 2 patients. [134] Within 9 days of treatment, the headaches abated for both patients. In an open-label study, Robbins reported his observations of 7 patients with chronic cluster headache who were treated with BTX-A or type B. [135]

Treatment was at least moderately effective in 4 of the 7 patients and not effective in 3. He also treated 3 patients with episodic cluster headache with BTX, and 2 of the 3 patients had at least moderate improvement. A report by Smuts and Barnard cited positive responses to BTX treatment in 2 of 4 cluster headache patients. [127]

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