Objective: 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.
Methods: We searched the PubMed and OvidSP databases. We also included cross-referencing bibliographies from primary and review articles.
Discussion: 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.
Conclusions: 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: email@example.com).
Received February 13, 2012
Accepted November 18, 2012