Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin that has been widely used in chronic pain for the treatment of multiple conditions with a component of localized muscle spasm. Recent studies suggest that botulinum toxin is effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain syndromes such as postherpetic neuralgia or painful scars.
We searched the PubMed and OvidSP databases. We also included cross-referencing bibliographies from primary and review articles.
In this descriptive review, we evaluate the usefulness, safety, and potential pathophysiological mechanism of botulinum toxin type A for treatment of painful disorders with neuropathic component such as postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, or trigeminal neuralgia.
On the basis of the analysis of the reports published in the literature, it would seem that fractioned peripheral subcutaneous and perineural injections of botulinum toxin type A may be useful for the treatment of various chronic pain conditions with neuropathic component.
*Multidisciplinary Pain Management Department
†Critical Care and Multidisciplinary Pain Management Department, School of Medicine of Valencia, General University Hospital, Valencia, Spain
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Reprints: Gustavo Fabregat, MD, Multidisciplinary Pain Management Department, Hospital General Universitario, Avda. Tres Cruces s/n, Valencia 46014, Spain (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received February 13, 2012
Accepted November 18, 2012