Which medications in the drug class Botulinum Toxins are used in the treatment of Spasticity?

Updated: Jun 28, 2019
  • Author: Krupa Pandey, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Botulinum Toxins

Treatment with botulinum toxins are used to reduce muscle tone and improve passive and/or active function in adults with spasticity. Botulinum toxins are a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin prevents acetylcholine from the presynaptic membrane, causing temporary calming of muscle contractions by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses.

OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox)

Binds to the motor nerve terminal. The binding domain of the type A molecule appears to be the heavy chain, which is selective for cholinergic nerve terminals. It is then internalized via receptor-mediated endocytosis, a process in which the plasma membrane of the nerve cell invaginates around the toxin-receptor complex, forming a toxin-containing vesicle inside the nerve terminal. After internalization, the light chain of the toxin molecule, which has been demonstrated to contain the transmission-blocking domain, is released into the cytoplasm of the nerve terminal. Subsequently blocks acetylcholine release by cleaving SNAP-25, a cytoplasmic protein that is located on the cell membrane and that is required for the release of this transmitter. The affected terminals are inhibited from stimulating muscle contraction. The toxin does not affect the synthesis or storage of acetylcholine or the conduction of electrical signals along the nerve fiber.

It is approved for upper and lower limb spasticity in adults and children aged 2 years or older.

AbobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport)

Binds to receptor sites on the motor nerve terminals and, after uptake, inhibits release of acetylcholine, blocking transmission of impulses in neuromuscular tissue. At 7-14 days after administration of the initial dose, assess the patient for a satisfactory response. Increase the dose 2-fold over the previously administered dose in patients who experience incomplete paralysis of the target muscle.

It is indicated for treatment of upper and lower limb spasticity in adults. It is also indicated for lower limb spasticity in children aged 2 years or older.

IncobotulinumtoxinA (Xeomin)

IncobotulinumtoxinA is botulinum toxin type A that is free of complexing proteins found in the natural toxin from Clostridium botulinum. This drug inhibits acetylcholine release and elicits neuromuscular blockade. It is indicated for treatment of upper limb spasticity in adults.

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