Multiple Sclerosis: Botox Treatment

  • Medical Author:
    Danette C. Taylor, DO, MS, FACN

    Dr. Taylor has a passion for treating patients as individuals. In practice since 1994, she has a wide range of experience in treating patients with many types of movement disorders and dementias. In addition to patient care, she is actively involved in the training of residents and medical students, and has been both primary and secondary investigator in numerous research studies through the years. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine (Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology). She graduated with a BS degree from Alma College, and an MS (biomechanics) from Michigan State University. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her internship and residency were completed at Botsford General Hospital. Additionally, she completed a fellowship in movement disorders with Dr. Peter LeWitt. She has been named a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists. She is board-certified in neurology by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. She has authored several articles and lectured extensively; she continues to write questions for two national medical boards. Dr. Taylor is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC) of the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan, and is a reviewer for the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

View Multiple Sclerosis Slideshow Pictures

Quick GuideMultiple Sclerosis Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What are the potential risks and side effects of Botox injections?

Botox injections have been determined to be safe and effective when given by experienced injectors. However, there is a risk of weakness in the area which has been injected. If this occurs, the weakness may interfere with function of that area. As with any injection, there is a potential for pain, bleeding, or infection at the injection site. With a large injection of the toxin, there is a possibility that there may be widespread dispersion of the toxin leading to problems with breathing or swallowing.

How much do Botox injections cost? Does insurance cover Botox injections?

The exact cost of Botox injections is dependent on many factors, including the amount of toxin used, the number of sites injected, and whether electromyography (EMG) or ultrasound guidance is used to determine placement of the toxin. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Botox for the treatment of upper limb spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis and other conditions, and insurance companies will often cover the majority of the costs associated with this procedure. In some cases insurance companies may also cover the cost of “off-label” uses of Botox, but this is dependent on the company and the patient's policy. Most companies will be able to identify if this is a covered benefit before the injections take place.

How can I expect to feel after getting Botox injections?

Immediately after receiving botulinum toxin injections, you may not feel any specific change, other than some slight soreness at the injection sites. After a few days, there will be evidence of some decrease in the spasticity of the targeted area. This may be associated with decreased pain and even improved function. Rarely, some patients experience a flu-like reaction or generalized achiness and fatigue which may last for a few days. If this type of reaction occurs, discuss your symptoms with your physician.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCES:

Goldman, M. D., et al. "Multiple sclerosis: treating symptoms, and other general medical issues." Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 73.2 (2006): 177-186.

Graham, L. A. "Management of spasticity revisited." Age Ageing 42.4 (2013): 435-441.

Jankovic, J. "Botulinum toxin in clinical practice." Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 75.7 (2004): 951-957.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/11/2016

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