- Understanding Multiple Sclerosis Slideshow
- Make an MS-Friendly Home
- Take the MS Quiz
- Patient Comments: Botox for MS - Spasticity
- What is Botox?
- What is multiple sclerosis?
- What is spasticity?
- How is Botox used to treat multiple sclerosis?
- Who is a good candidate for Botox injections?
- How many Botox injections are needed? How do Botox injections work?
- What are the potential risks and side effects of Botox injections?
- How much do Botox injections cost? Does insurance cover Botox injections?
- How can I expect to feel after getting Botox injections?
Quick GuideMultiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and Treatment
Who is a good candidate for Botox injections?
Patients who have limited areas of spasticity, such as one arm or one leg, are often very good candidates for botulinum toxin treatments. Patients who have been poorly tolerant of oral medications due to sleepiness, dry mouth, or even cognitive problems may also benefit from the use of botulinum toxin injections to treat their spasticity.
Patients who have certain underlying neuromuscular diseases, such as myasthenia gravis, or who are being treated with medications that block the neuromuscular junction, should not be given botulinum toxin injections, as widespread or prolonged weakness may occur.
How many Botox injections are needed? How do Botox injections work?
The exact number of injections needed to treat a patient's condition is highly individualized. One patient may respond to as few as two or three injections, while another patient may require many more.
Botox works by blocking the release of acetylcholine from nerve endings. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter required by muscles for muscular contraction. By eliminating the ability of a muscle to contract, it relaxes, thereby decreasing spasticity and tone. The blockade of acetylcholine does not occur immediately. Most patients do not begin to see the effect of a botulinum toxin injection for a few days, and it may take a few weeks for the maximum benefit to become apparent. Additionally, the benefit of botulinum toxin injections is not permanent; after a few months (typically three), the effect of the injections is no longer seen, and the injections need to be repeated.