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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Answer

Answer

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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