- The Effects of Multiple Sclerosis
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- 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?
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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
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.