Botulinum Toxin Injections for Movement Disorders
UW Health Movement Disorders neurologists provide skilled injection of botulinum toxin for the treatment of a variety of disorders that result in abnormal postures or movements.
Conditions Treated by Botulinum Toxin
Botulinum toxin may be used to treat:
- Hemifacial spasm
- Motor tics and spasticity
- Orofacial dyskinesias
What does botulinum toxin do?
Localized injections can help an overactive muscle relax by blocking a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) that is involved in muscle contraction, it does not permanently deactivate muscles.
The peak effect of the botulinum toxin occurs at roughly the 7-10 day mark. Repeat treatments are needed at approximately three-month intervals.
How is botulinum toxin administered?
Botulinum toxin is injected under the skin or into the muscle using small needles. Depending on the particular indication, sometimes electromyography (EMG) guidance is needed. Patient discomfort is usually mild - in most cases, similar to a flu shot. Some people opt to take Tylenol or a mild sedative prior to the procedure.
The Patient Experience
An initial consultation with a doctor determines whether botulinum toxin is an appropriate treatment. If so, a treatment appointment will be scheduled during which the procedure will be re-explained and questions/concerns addressed.
Injections are performed in the office and the patient can go home afterward. A follow-up visit (in person or by telephone) is usually set up within two to three weeks to evaluate to results of the injection and discuss any side effects or concerns.