What is cervical dystonia?
Cervical dystonia (CD) is the most common form of focal dystonia characterised by sustained or intermittent muscle contraction that leads to abnormal movements and posture. There is no known cure for CD, but multiple treatments are available to relieve symptoms. The choice of treatment depends on the cause of the dystonia and the muscles involved.
Botox injections for cervical dystonia
Botox is a prescription medication containing botulinum neurotoxin A that is injected into muscles to treat cervical dystonia in adults. Other ingredients include human albumin and sodium chloride. The safety of Botox for this indication has not been established for pregnant and lactating patients. Patients who are allergic to other botulinum toxin type A products (Xeomin, Myobloc, and Dysport) should not receive this treatment. Patients with existing neuromuscular conditions such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, and Lambert-Eaton syndrome may have an increased risk of serious side effects.
This treatment has become increasingly popular for treating this disorder, as well as several other medical conditions, and is very well-tolerated in most patients.
Dosing is based on the localisation of pain, patient’s head and neck position, muscle hypertrophy, and side effects history.
Most Common Side Effects:
- Pain at the site of injection
- Neck and back pain
- Upper respiratory infection
- Increased cough
Other side effects:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Flu-like symptoms
A serious complication of botulinum toxin injection is the spread of toxin to other areas away from the injection site. This is dangerous and may cause breathing and swallowing problems. Patients must immediately seek medical help if they are experiencing any of these problems. To avoid increasing the risk of unwanted effects, do not inject this toxin unless you are a licensed injector.
Patients and physicians must also watch out for symptoms of allergic reaction to Botox injections. These may include itching, wheezing, red welts in the skin, dizziness, and asthma symptoms.